Thinking Out Loud

Who Makes A Mentor?

Watching some golf tournaments in the last few weeks, I am reminded of the value of coaches and mentors regardless of your level of ability or skill in a particular field.

What makes a mentor? Who can be a mentor? When do you need one?
All very interesting questions. For me, a mentor is someone (anyone) who shows by example or by talking about their experience, ways to face situations whether they be in business or life. We all have mentors – people who are an example of how to live or not live our lives. The not is just as important.

On the golf course and in business a mentor can be our second set of eyes, giving us another perspective on the situation or task. For golf professionals who have coaches for the technical aspects of their game, I see the caddy as a very personal and skilled mentor. They are there for the “show time”, not every day but at those times when a second set of eyes, a second view on the situation, might help with the approach (to coin a golfing phrase) to decision making and choices for optimum performance. Who would not want that kind of help?

I produce a weekly podcast with a colleague who is a mentor to CEOs and senior executives. We ask our guests do tell us their view of the definitions and differences between coaches, mentors and accountability partners. The responses have been wide and varied. To listen to these please visit Inside-Exec.Com.

We should all try to learn every day. We should all find some mentoring in those with whom we interact. We should all try to be a mentor to others.

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