Everyone Should Be a Mentor

Updated December 10, 2012

I’m really lucky. My world is filled with mentoring and mentors.

I have my own, am around many of them through my job in my day-to-day routine, am part of a large mentoring program, am building my new venture on the concept of deep mentoring, and do a lot of informal mentoring on a daily basis. It also comes with the territory of being a father and teacher.

Many successful people will tell you that not only do they count mentors among their most valued relationships, but that they invest a lot of time in mentoring others. It’s deeply fulfilling, humbling, and eye-opening. Like teachers, great mentors will tell you they get more from their “work” than the proteges might.

I believe that everyone – no matter age, profession, or background – should be a mentor. And not just for one person but for as many as possible. It doesn’t have to be formal, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t require a certain skill level.

Each of us has something to share, whether it’s knowledge, experience, opinions, contacts or, most importantly, the ability to listen.

If you don’t find people coming to you for mentoring, then go find them.

  • Contact your local school or university
  • Reach out to colleagues, customers, suppliers, and service providers
  • Find a non-profit that has a mission which resonates with you
  • Ask friends, family, and neighbors how you can help them
  • Get involved in trade associations or organizations to which you belong

From my experience, mentoring is one of the most effective ways to have an impact and grow as a person. And it takes nothing more than desire and time.

Go do it.

5 comments

  1. Glen Tibaldeo

    Raman,

    Thanks for this. You just inspired me to contact my the local alumni chapters of my alma maters to offer to do interviewing and mentoring.

    You may have had a permanent and positive impact.

    Thanks again!!!

    Glen

  2. Jackey Cheng

    Hey Raman,
    I enjoyed the article. I had a formal mentorship 2 summers ago (for one month), and the mentorship has been dying down this past year. Any advice on what I should do?
    Thanks,

    • Raman Chadha

      Jackey, I assume you were the protege? If so, and assuming you and the mentor “clicked”, then simply reach out to him/her and see if you can get together for an update. Then find out if s/he would be interested and willing to continue meeting or chatting periodically. I encourage you to keep it rather informal, engaging in dialogue when necessary. But keep in mind that the responsibility is on your shoulders, not the mentor’s.

      Now, if you were the mentor, then do the same, simply by reaching out to see how the protege is doing and there’s any way you can help them.

  3. Pingback: The Depth & Breadth of Startup Mentoring | ramanations

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