Providing and Accepting Mentorship

I was talking to a mentor the other day.

Do you know that word – mentor? A mentor is defined as a wise and trusted advisor.

In any case, my mentor was describing an opportunity he had recently to see excellence in action. He had been visiting a lodge and he saw a chef who did a really good job. The chef had a plan. He wasted no motion. He directed his staff effectively. The team worked well together and the product they produced was extraordinary.

My mentor was so struck with the competence that he asked the chef how he had learned to do his job as well as he did.

According to my mentor, the chef said that he had three distinct people who had impacted his approach to cooking, had helped nurture his passion for the career. He was trained as an engineer but he loved cooking.

It occurred to me that most people who get anywhere get there because someone mentored them along. They can point to the mentors. They can tell you what they learned from them. They can tell you exactly why they made a difference.

Many of us luck into our mentors. You run into a teacher or a coach when you are a kid. You have a boss that sees potential in you and chooses to guide you because they see the potential.

Sometimes you choose them. You see something you admire and take steps to learn from them.

I have gotten them both ways. But, here’s what made me write this. Mentorship is about learning. And, it’s about teaching.

Teams that win have leaders who are impacting others. And, they have teammates who are learning from others. Who are you learning from these days? Who are you teaching?