10 Things to Look for in a Mentor

Posted by 30 March, 2009


This is the second part of a 5 part series.

1. Want to Be Successful? – Get a Mentor
2. 10 Things to Look for in a Mentor
3. 10 Things to Look for in a Protege
4. 5 Steps You Need to Take in Preparation of Being a Mentor/Protege
5. World’s Great Mentoring Relationships

1. Experienced – Mentors are typically older, but that is not a rule. As Bud Bilinch from Fast Company states, one of his mentors is 20 years younger than him and is teaching him the ways of the Web 2.0 world.

2. Character – Your mentor should be a person that you respect and admire. Many times a protege (mentee) patterns his or her life after the life of the mentor and thus you want to ensure you are following a person that with good moral standing.

3. Similar Goals – Find a mentor that has goals similar to yours. It can only help your chances of success if your mentor has already gone through a lot of the work you have in front of you.

4. Availability – Your mentor needs to be available for interaction. It can be great to have a really successful person mentoring you, but if they aren’t available to meet, it defeats the purpose of the arrangement.

5. Open-minded – You need a mentor that is open-minded. This will allow you to progress in a way you need to progress, not necessarily in the way the mentor would prefer.

6. Caring – We all want people to think what we’re doing is important especially our mentor. A mentor needs to care about your success just as much as you do. This is a person that should help you up when you fall and all of this starts with the mentor caring about you and your success.

7. Positive – Your mentor needs to be positive and help keep you positive. If you spend a meaningful amount of time with your mentor, and they are positive, this is bound to rub off on you. Remember, good thoughts in, good thoughts out. People want to work with other positive people. The future is bright and as Henry Ford says “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”

8. Focus – You want a mentor who is able to not only focus on you and what you would like to achieve, but also help you focus. For instance, let’s say you are new to starting a business and have a mentor who has been successful in starting many businesses over the past 30 years. Starting a business can be a daunting task. There’s a lot of things to think about and especially in the beginning, you have to wear many hats. A mentor can help direct you to what might be the most important point in terms of starting a business.

9. Believes in You – A mentor needs to believe in your potential. If they aren’t sold on you, they aren’t going to put all of their effort into the mentor-protege relationship. No one wins in this relationship and both parties are wasting their time.

10. Open and Honest – A mentor-protege relationship is most beneficial when you can both share experiences and bits of information that a normal acquaintance wouldn’t know about you. Openness and honesty also help build credibility and trust among the mentor and protege.

Remember, a mentoring relationship is only as good as the sum of it’s parts. This is only a guide line for what to look for in a mentor. You may add or subtract from this list as pertains to your situation.

Are there other qualities you look for in a mentor? How did you decide who your mentor was going to be?

Photo by: Puliarf

Other Posts

Want to Be Successful? – Get a Mentor
5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Store Front
5 Reasons Why You Should NOT have a Store Front
Case Study: My Adventures in Forex Trading (Update: 3/16)
Carnival of Personal Finance #197


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Categories : Personal Development Tags : , ,

April 6, 2009

Can’t agree more.

A Bisht’s last blog post..Demographics of online newspaper reading Spanish internet users

Posted by A Bisht
April 13, 2009

A Bisht – Thanks for the comment. I definitely think it’s worth the time of the mentor and protege to make sure they have a good fit.

Dustin’s last blog post..World’s Greatest Mentoring Relationships

Posted by Dustin
April 13, 2009

#9 is crucial. When your mentor does not believe in you it shows. You cannot hide it. What do you do? You go for #10 😉

Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com’s last blog post..Adopt 18/40/60 Rule And Stop Worrying About What They Think About You

April 13, 2009

Great post. It’s true that you need to find someone who can truly help you. My husband had a mentor who wasn’t really on board with his work. So he found a new mentor and he’s doing much better.

Miranda’s last blog post..Index Funds, Not Actively Managed Funds

Posted by Miranda
April 13, 2009

Extemely helpful and informative article.

Posted by The Quail
April 13, 2009

@ Alik – I hadn’t really noticed that progression from #9 to #10, but I guess that works! Thanks for pointing that out. That progression wasn’t intentional as much as I’d like to think it was my intention.

@ Miranda – I had the impression that if you were fortunate enough to have someone help you, you should just take them up on it. My view changed after doing research for this series. Thanks for the example!

@ Quail – Thanks for the comment!

Dustin’s last blog post..World’s Greatest Mentoring Relationships

Posted by Dustin
April 13, 2009

Interesting post! Thanks for sharing. I suppose most of my mentors have come from writers, spiritual leaders, and the likes. I have never really had a true mentor in my life. However, it would be something that I would be open to experience. Cheers

Jonathan | EnlightenYourDay.com’s last blog post..Yes, I love all things Social Media.

April 13, 2009

Great post. Mentors can play a critical role in your professional and personal development–no matter how many years of experience you can state on your resume.

I think one of the greatest compliments is to be considered a mentor to someone.

Krista Holloway’s last blog post..Today’s Question: Why is Optimism so Important?

Posted by Krista Holloway
September 9, 2009

Great post. I mentor is something which is essential for success. You need someone who can be by your side and force you to push you limits to the max. Not only can this make you a better person but it helps you appreciate unconditional love for someone else.

Posted by jonathanfigaro
January 5, 2010

With all these points, one thing should be kept in mind that business mentors are not to run your business and also never get mixed investor and mentor.

Posted by business mentors
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