Business leaders, especially entrepreneurs, are passionate about their businesses. In most cases, they build a successful company based on passion and drive. But when it comes time to scale, they often struggle. Every business will face the question of how to scale. For most companies, it means doing something different, and that’s where mentors come in.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is a trusted guide or teacher. Someone who has “been there, done that.” They can help you navigate challenges and opportunities based on their past experiences.
Good mentors don’t just give advice. They also hold you accountable to those tips and tricks they've taught you. Mentors will challenge you to do things they know will benefit the business, even if it’s not fun or doesn’t make sense in the short term. They keep you focused on the big picture.
Why is mentorship important?
When starting or growing a business, there are many decisions to make. Involving a mentor reduces your risk and increases the odds of making the right choices.
They offer a different vantage point and different level of experience than you have. Diversity of thought from someone who is there to challenge you is different than those you may already have on your team.
A good mentor will be willing to share information with you without the need to pull the wool over your eyes. It should be an honest and open relationship.
Here are some additional benefits of mentorship:
Most mentors view the relationship with a protégé or mentee as a one-on-one situation. We beleive that adding in netweaving exponentially increases the value.
Introduce the protege to your network. Help them learn how to be of service and pay it forward when meeting others and also grow their own web of influence. This fresh approach to mentorship will improve the impact for everyone involved. This is helpful if the mentee wants something that is beyond the ken of the mentor but also can give them another perspective on the same issue.
CEO Netweaver members add value to their mentoring by modeling and teaching about netweaving. We believe this to be at the heart of developing trusted relationships and supports one of our core values, "Building Bridges Of Trust".
What do we mean?
How to implement netweaving while mentoring effectively:
1. Ask the protege what obstacles they are facing that they could use more help with
2. Offer to introduce them to one or more people in your own network who have solutions or ideas in this area
3. If they agree, then set up a meeting that you can attend and facilitate as well, either online or in person
4. The goal of this meeting is both to help with the introduction but also to use it as a teaching opportunity for the protege on how to netweave. Additionally, it will help you grow closer with your own connection
Having resources that are independent of one’s job is a fabulous helper. Receiving mentorship from a colleague can be good but it can also be difficult because the colleague may have a dual alliance to the company as well as the protege. A third-party mentor is there only to help the protege. By connecting someone with more independent contacts and showing them how to connect without being salesy you will help them professionally even more than good one on one support provides.
By incorporating netweaving into mentoring it will deepen the relationship and radically increase the impact and value provided.