Find mentors – learn from the SIWIKE around you
You might know that my goal is to make Toronto the Mentorship capital of the world. I am planning to have that happen by having each person find 1, 2, 5 mentors or as many as they can manage (or manage them as the case may be). And often more importantly to be a mentor for 1, 2, 5 mentees to share your own SIWIKE (yes, you do have a ton to share, you just don’t realize it or give yourself enough credit for it). A mentor to me is some with experience who shares it as potential guidance for your own future choices in a particular area.
That being said, I often get the question: how do I find a mentor? Here are a few of my thoughts:
Here’s where most people fail as they don’t even start. The task of finding a mentor is so daunting that they don’t get started. Or they start and aren’t immediately successful so they stop.
My view is to treat the process of finding a mentor as a learning experience and Mentorship in itself. At the very least take time and reflect to mentor yourself on how to be better.
BMC = Build Meaningful Connections
If you’re not familiar with BMC, read this first. If you are then BMC can naturally result in mentors. The fact that you are interested in someone, get them to share their SIWIKE, and hopefully apply it to your own career, that starts sounding very mentor-like. Building the connection especially helps the relationship develop.
Not a one-stop shop or for eternity
My perspective of a mentor might be different. I’ve heard mentors as the aged person who takes you under their wing and guides you to a better and brighter career. My view is that Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. And you don’t necessarily have a single mentor for all aspects of your career or life. If you can find a single all encompassing role model, the great. Otherwise You might love 50% of someone’s view on life and disagree with the rest. Then 20% of another person. 10% of a third, only one part of another. And so on. So find people who reflect where you want to be for a particular aspect.
Also, mentors don’t have to be permanent. Just as you might have some whom you admire for parts of their insights, you might also do so for points in time. The world changes. You change. So you don’t have to necessarily lock into a mentor for eternity. And you also might change back so make sure you are appreciative and greatly for what mentors do for you.
Everyone as a mentor
Many people ask me how many mentors I have. I respond with hundreds (if not thousands) at this point. That might seem like a cop out answer and my view is that someone has something that they can teach you. And through my BMC interaction I am a detective trying to find out what that is. Even someone 20 years younger has their experience as a young person growing up in 2017 has something for me to learn from. I learn about their experience and challenges in this day and age. How I can apply what I’ve learned to their experience and make the next interaction with a similar person more effective. So if you chose to, see what you can learn from anybody. You’d be surprised and what wealth of knowledge you’re missing out one.
The mentors you never met
Many of the mentors I have, I have never met. Let me explain. I like to learn from the experiences of others through books which maybe biographies or nonfiction to learn about other peoples SIWIKE. I consume podcasts or YouTube videos or any other content that they might create. The mentor me, and I have never met them. Being naturally introverted, that worked very well for me as I could learn from the wealth of knowledge out there without having to put myself in the situation of being intimidated by such amazing people.
What is your approach to finding a mentor? Comment below or I’d love to hear about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy mentor-finding!
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