Monday, August 24, 2015

A Mentor In The Making

You know how we've all heard or read the scripture, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" quoted to us in times when serving up a hefty buffet of revenge (notice buffet and not a plate) was deservedly being planned (although revenge is never for any one of us to carry out) but those plans were intercepted by Truth and so went that buffet. And rightly so.

I've come to learn that life in and of itself is steadily developing mentors of us all. Whether our learning is applied to positively or negatively impact others lives will be a lasting impact. For in this life we are all being molded and shaped into mentors - mentors in the making!!!

We mentor others on our experiences and our perceived knowledge of what we take from those experiences. Regardless of the subject matter, nor the age, creed, or color, we all need mentors and we will in turn become mentors to those who seek growth and development. This is essential in building lasting relationships across the divide and beyond, in order to build anything lasting mentors must be well sought, well advised persons that are willing to lead.

Let's be honest about all of this: If we didn't have experienced individuals who forewarned us of the risks we were taking - none of us we be here in any capacity.

Now that we have come to understand and receive that we are all mentors to others in some aspect or another, there are some essential aspects to developing and being a mentor that fosters positive impact on those seeking mentors. Let's take a quick look:

1. Always entreat others with "Love" first and foremost. People will always remember the genuineness of your care and counsel. The greatest lessons of my life were taught in love. Those lessons took me farthest in life and those are most treasured in that I too, wanted to pass those lessons learned in the same love.

2. Always, always be honest. Be honest about your willingness to commit to mentoring. If you're in a particular place in life that let's say transitioning and your time commitment isn't there - be honest and communicate that. Quite possibly the mentee may be willing to wait for a period of time for you to become available. Another example that strongly applies here is being honest about the depth of your experience(s) in a given area. You know what you know. Make sure the person asking for mentoring understands your level of expertise and allow that person to make the judgement for themselves. People need honesty. That doesn't include stroking your ego.

3. Be patient with others. Everybody simply don't think using the left side of their brains. Everybody adheres to learning differently. Don't get impatient because it may take two or three teaching methods to get the point across. Sometimes, it may take another mentor to get that particular idea or concept over to the mentee. The most important thing is that they "get it" not who teaches it.

4. Don't take the task of learning away from the individual(s). Instead, allow that person and/or persons to learn whatever lessons to best of their abilities. If they don't get it, they'll let you know. It will show greatly. But their receptiveness to really learn and develop has to be their desire. If you happen to meet those few who really are looking for others to do "their" work (and usually for ) "free" and want to invest no time in developing themselves, please show them the door. That ploy will serve two very empty purposes: (1) It will expend your time and talents with no pay and; (2) It doesn't bring anyone into accountability of the job being performed. Remember, this isn't for your development it's for the one who came knockin.

5. Respect the decisions of your mentees. The weight of responsibility comes with mentoring for both the mentor and mentee. However, this does not mean you have to carry the burden of mentees who act irresponsibly with your time, your resources, and your counsel. Be wise when mentoring others. You have heard the scripture quoted, "Don't throw your pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6). This means, don't spend your time giving sound advice and wisdom to those who will do more with it than throw it in a gutter. Wow, what a waste! Too valuable. Whether we as mentors like it or not, we must respect the decisions of the adults who come to us for mentoring as to what they want to happen in their lives or businesses. They have the final decision. Let them have it!

6. Know when your season is past. Every person being mentored does so for varying reasons and again, everyone is not on the same level. Depending on what the individual's need determines the length of mentoring. No matter the time period, it is vital to know when you're done, after all, isn't this what growth is all about (to see if the person has learned enough to begin applying what you've taught?). 

Don't allow mentoring to take the place of fee-based consulting. It's imperative to know the differences as well as knowing upfront what is expected of all parties involved. Mentors need to be concise in delivering what's being sought of them so there will be a clear end to earmark. After you have given of yourself and your knowledge base there comes an end (or rather, until further notice - LOL) that must be expressed or all of this will become wearisome to a degree. Mentoring should not be wearisome - heartfelt yes, but wearisome, (hmmm, I guess if you find yourself with a problem child) not in the slightest. Why? Because mentors truly appreciate, respect and are honored that the attributes exemplified in part are noteworthy and that those attributes are worthy of being replicated. 

Mentoring provides an opportunity to help nurture and shape future generations. There is absolutely no way mentoring can occur without giving some of yourself in the process and this is and will continue to be the strongest element in mentoring; how much of ourselves we pass on to others. After all, shouldn't the best of our attributes live on forever?

Keep Going!
The Living Consultant

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Double-Edged Sword Of Time!

It seems as though it was just a few months ago (certainly not eight months) that the New Year's celebrations were high and rolling on through the night. Ringing in the New Year in Las Vegas, NV is like no other place in the world....They make magic happen! Lights, cameras, celebrities of every movie and music genre, sleek cars, beautifully dressed people, nervous entertainers, and overwrought hotel and restaurant staff running wildly from one step to the next...and it never stops! There to is something else that doesn't stop...the clocks on the wall. Whether they can be seen or not - they keep ticking, just as they're doing now. Ticking with the sound that another year is heading toward its end. As a business owner, in regard to the clock's warning tick, where are you in the process of ending this year strong.

Coming into this year so many resolutions were made. New Day Planners rolled out and/or Google Calendars were already being filled in and shared. Business goals were developed, posted, placed on internal message boards, etc., and shot out across social media venues telling others (internal teams or external stakeholders) what to expect in this new year. Man, oh man, when that ball fell in Times Square in New York city, and equally, when those rocket-like fireworks flew into the air from atop the various roof tops of the over-glamorized casinos in Las Vegas, people roared with excitement, looking hopefully into their futures with great aspirations and gladiator-like invincibility to succeeding in their various industries.

The following days were filled with vigor and gusto to beat it down the track! With new cell phones, laptops, netbooks, tablets, and phablets, all the goodies from the holidays fell out at new meetings ready to go...Let's get 'er done!!!

Now, it's August. For most, we've just entered the second month of the 3rd Qtr of the year and nearing Summer's end. School bells are ringing, college kids are getting in their last weekend hangouts before it's back to dorms and books, and stalled vacation plans have left others irritable and looking to grasp any amount of time even if it's a trip to the mountains or beach - any outing before the whip cracks again is better than nothing at all.

Herein is where a business owner assumes responsibility and accountability for having used time wisely and advantageously. Here's where all those meetings either meant something and nothing (profited by them in some way or not). For all the agendas and meeting notes compiled, for all the webinars and seminars taken or not taken (but were seriously needed), for the website(s) that went up or taken down, for the blog posts that were forgotten or never written, for the marketing campaigns that were planned and should now be ready for execution, the clock on the wall tells all.

It tells:

  1. Whether (or not) you heeded the advice of Influencers, Industry Leaders, and other successful corporate icons suggesting and recommending everything from starting up to starting over.
  2. Whether some attended summer school while others went out to play and now hurriedly return to "throw" something at the marketplace.
  3. Whether the patronage of every client and potential client is sincerely appreciated by their names already being in the Holiday card mailing list. (Oh, you did remember to plan, select and order the customized cards right?)
  4. Whether the few remaining business networking events convening in your area will be attended by you and staff.
  5. Whether fiscal reporting is accurate and stated fiscal goals are being achieved.
  6. Whether strategy was developed and deployed (at the beginning of the year) that yields measurable results that can be proven and continued; increased. If the strategy set forth isn't yielding the desired results, why?
  7. Whether the editorial content calendar...wait, there is an editorial content calendar, right? Press Releases? Anything that tells the public that you're alive and....
  8. What tools, technologies, or staffing is needed to handle the workload in the coming months.
  9. Whether the business is in proper position to hit the ground running with launched marketing campaigns before, during and after Labor Day week.
  10. Whether or not you, as a business owner, have a clue as to what's needed to enter this last stretch before heading into the Fall and Holiday Seasons.
The clock is telling what businesses will finish strong. It will tell what businesses will finish poorly. The evidence of the clocks findings in the coming months, will be your visibility or invisibility in the marketplace. Time will tell all.

Here's To You Showing Up!

(The Living Consultant)