“Being a conscientious person with high moral standards breeds trust, and that places relationships on solid ground.” – JSP
As it is with all consistently enduring leadership types, generational leadership is anchored solidly in interpersonal relationships. The adage “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” holds true when it comes to developing tomorrow’s transformational leaders.
The relational trust we earn from the people who work with us springs from our lifestyle because anyone can smell a mechanical technique a mile away. Good leaders know that the first person they’re accountable to is themselves, whether at home (where it begins), among friends or coworkers.
Christine B. Whittemore comments, “How important is it for you to build trust and cooperation? Aren’t both an ongoing commitment you make to everyone your business touches? And yet, that commitment can become overwhelming. Nowadays, you need to be always-on, constantly figuring out how to develop and nurture ongoing relationships across tools and platforms that are forever in flux. Don’t forget those critical in-real-life interactions!” (1)
Renee Olstead says, “I encourage all of you to seek out teachers and mentors that challenge you to think for yourself and guide you to find your own voice.”
Leaders multiply the value they add to others by developing and mentoring future leaders. In essence, leaders who think intergenerationally will speak to a generation they’ll never see by mentoring younger leaders who will.
Developing a leadership culture begins with a leadership team that models identifying, equipping, and mentoring leaders at every level, training them to do the same.
Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” – Bob Proctor
Mark Cole commenting on mentoring, says, “Mentoring is pouring your life into other people and helping them reach their potential. The power of mentoring is strong. As you give of yourself, you help others overcome obstacles in their lives, you show them how to grow personally and professionally, and you help them achieve a whole new level of living. You can truly make a difference in their lives.”
In his book “The Leader’s Greatest Return, John Maxwell writes, “I want to give you a road map for mentoring leaders. The map is simple, but the journey you take won’t be. As a mentor, you need to be a teacher, guide, coach, and cheerleader, and you must learn which to be at the appropriate time.” The following is an excerpt from Maxwell’s simple road map;
Choose Who You Mentor—Don’t Let Them Choose You
The more successful you become, the greater the number of people who will ask you to mentor them. But it’s crucial that you do the choosing… you need to selectively pick the people in whom you see the most leadership potential. When you pick the right ones, you win, they win—everybody wins.
Set Expectations Up Front for Both of You
You need to lay the groundwork on everyone’s part—the we, you, and me of the relationship… “Have an understanding so there is no misunderstanding.”
Personalize Your Mentoring to Help Leaders Succeed
One of my favorite things to do is communicate. I love engaging with people, taking them on an emotional journey, and teaching them things that will add value to them. But I always remember that’s not mentoring. You can teach the masses, you can coach groups, but you have to mentor individuals one at a time.
Care Enough to Have Crucial Conversations
Good mentors don’t hesitate to have difficult conversations with the people they mentor. They deal with the “elephants” in the room even when others won’t.” (2)
Writer Jason Zhang comments, “A true mentor will always be a source of empowerment for you; they help you see future perspectives, and you believe in yourself. Any greater achiever you read about; you will always find them following a mentor who let them reach their dreams.”
“You achieve significance when a next generation’s leader credits their success to a Leader you mentored.”- JSP
(1) From “Helping Your Business Stand Out With Content” https://bit.ly/3atxVMM
(2) “The Leader’s Greatest Return” by John C. Maxwell (pages 159-160)