Mentoring is by far the most rewarding and challenging role anyone can take on. It is much like parenting, but in a mentoring relationship there is no hierarchy. It is mainly give from both sides. David Cohen had a fantastic post a while back about the Mentor Manifesto. David is the CEO of TechStars, Boulder and has had the experience to work with hundreds of mentors and entrepreneurs. I could not agree more to the post. We have a challenge in Iceland, there are very few experienced, committed mentors. Whenever, I bring up the topic of mentoring, that question is always followed with What does the mentor get back for their time and effort? The whole point of mentoring is NOT TO EXPECT ANYTHING BACK! it is about giving, like unconditional love to your child. It is a service one does to pay forward. Why is it so hard to grasp?
When I joined Ernst & Young in their Management Consultingpractice a long time ago, the first thing I was introduced to was my Mentor who was different to my Counselor. What a fantastic concept. The organization had made it a institutional practice to make sure everyone who joins the team has a mentor and a counselor. Mentor guides the new team member on the workings of the organization and helps in any challenge the new team member encounters. A mentor to me was a friend, a buddy actually that is what EY called it. a “Buddy” is usually there for you to talk about anything related to work. Some of buddies become full fledged mentors and helped me shape my career at EY. I have played the role of a mentor to many of my friends and I take the role of mentoring very seriously.