Home Business And Entrepreneurship The Power of Mentorship to the Success of Business

The Power of Mentorship to the Success of Business

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“For young adults stepping into the career world, their choice of mentors plays a significant role in the degree of achievement they set for themselves, the goals they aspire to, and the confidence with which they step forward into this exciting new era of their lives”

Every moment of our lives from our first breath to our last, we are influenced by mentors, either directly or indirectly. The actions, words, successes, failures, inspirations and motivations that shape our personalities, goals and dreams are influenced by mentors. When we are children, we generally don’t have a lot of say in who our mentors are…family, friends, teachers, school playmates – these are the people who will shape our ideas of teamwork, our ability to make decisions, our morals, and our tendencies to be leaders or followers. The people who teach us fundamental life lessons as children influence our ability to problem solve, make decisions and choose the right (or wrong) mentors when we get older. As adults, we take these attributes shaped by the mentors of our youth, and we use these models to shape the character of our future, and how we influence ourselves, others and humanity.

For young adults stepping into the career world, their choice of mentors plays a significant role in the degree of achievement they set for themselves, the goals they aspire to, and the confidence with which they step forward into this exciting new era of their lives. The big, bad, scary future is much less daunting when you have a trusted advisor/mentor to listen, learn from, brainstorm with, and model. Mentors can be older siblings, parents, professors, friends, but a mentor can also be a boss, colleague or even a peer. There is no universal formula for a mentor – we are all mentors and we are all mentees, regardless of age or professional experience.

“There is no universal formula for a mentor – we are all mentors and we are all mentees, regardless of age or professional experience”

“Companies that embrace a culture of mentorship are shown to outperform competitors, having greater levels of efficiency, more cohesive team structures, and lower turnover rates. Mentoring builds unity, and a company unified from within will be a true vanguard of the future”

Seasoned professionals, business leaders – those individuals who have been running in the rat race for a period of time – have a responsibility to inspire the younger generations so that they can aspire to reach their full potential, learning from our successes while avoiding the pitfalls that can usually only be sidestepped through experience. Companies that embrace a culture of mentorship are shown to outperform competitors, having greater levels of efficiency, more cohesive team structures, and lower turnover rates. Mentoring builds unity, and a company unified from within will be a true vanguard of the future.

One of the most underappreciated forms of mentorship is reverse mentorship. Reverse mentoring pairs younger employees with executive-level team members, usually focused around technology and innovation. Companies that encourage their employees to be open to both mentorship and reverse mentorship, have a greater sense of inclusion, cooperation and productive knowledge-sharing. When senior executives or members of the leadership team challenge their younger employees with the responsibility of hacking apart problems and conceiving new and innovative solutions, teaching and guiding their colleagues, the company is positioned to be both disruptive and transformational. We have much to learn from one another. When you ask someone for their assistance, ideas or opinions, you are showing them that you value their input and trust their perspective. While they are contributing to the solution of your challenge, you are contributing reciprocal value to them, helping to build their self-confidence, further inspire the courage of their creativity, and ensure that they feel valued as an employee.

“When senior executives or members of the leadership team challenge their younger employees with the responsibility of hacking apart problems and conceiving new and innovative solutions, teaching and guiding their colleagues, the company is positioned to be both disruptive and transformational”

Our ability to professionally mentor does not come only from our education or professional experience, it comes from each and every engagement we have with others, the places we have traveled, the challenges we have faced, the times when we have been uplifted and the times when we have been let down. Sometimes, as we mentor others in a business capacity, we endeavor to keep it very linear and focused only on the topic, leaving the ‘personal’ out of it. But the ‘personal’ is what makes us human. The ‘personal’ is what makes us relatable. The ‘personal’ is what shapes the value of our perspective. And the ‘personal’ is what makes our content as a mentor, much more valuable. The personal side of us encompasses our emotions – the love, loyalty, sense of family. A mentor who counsels strictly from the rigid space of business will be missing a phenomenal opportunity to shape a well-rounded thought process infused with empathy, understanding, and balance – the balance we all need to successfully manage both our business and personal lives. We are sometimes afraid to show emotion or vulnerability in the workplace, but emotion and vulnerability is what truly makes us creative and forward-thinking. We see problems and challenges from a myriad of perspectives when we bring emotion to the table. If we hide behind a façade, attempting to be what we assume to be appropriate for the workplace, we are denying the workplace of the value of well-rounded perspective from our lessons learned. A mentor who espouses this as a role model is helping to shape visionary, tolerant and courageous mentees – who will pass this on as they assume their role as a mentor.

“A mentor who counsels strictly from the rigid space of business will be missing a phenomenal opportunity to shape a well-rounded thought process infused with empathy, understanding, and balance – the balance we all need to successfully manage both our business and personal lives”

“Have the courage to do things differently than others, and not only will you have opportunities that others don’t have, but you will inspire those who see you as a mentor to be brave enough to also do it differently”

A work environment built around a nucleus of mentorship is the most important way to ensure your company dominates your sector. We are stronger together. As business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators…and global citizens, we have a responsibility to elevate one another – not only for our personal gain or our business growth, but simply because it is the right thing to do. When we lead by example, we are passively mentoring. Have the courage to do things differently than others, and not only will you have opportunities that others don’t have, but you will inspire those who see you as a mentor to be brave enough to also do it differently. Every single day, we are mentoring and being mentored by others. Mentoring is not always sharing the good…we also learn from the bad examples we see. Be the good example. Be the mentor who inspires, empowers and uplifts. When we uplift one another, we uplift humanity.

Larisa Miller is CEO of Phoenix Global, an award-winning global boutique consulting and investment firm based in Miami. With over two decades of experience working with heads of governments and business leaders in the US and across the globe, Larisa has the exceptional talent of developing mutually beneficial partnerships spanning cultures, countries, and industries. She started her career working for the Secretary of Agriculture in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and went on to work in the office of public policy with the Governor of Pennsylvania. Larisa later worked with the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as their business development manager, with a focus on sustainable development, and also as head of their large non-profit foundation, which focused on women, youth, literacy and education. Larisa is an award-winning keynote speaker, and sits on several global boards. She is also Managing Partner of Akon Global, developing and facilitating Smart Cities, affordable housing and technology investments with Akon, multi-Grammy award nominated recording star, businessman, philanthropist and change-maker.

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