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Mentorship

by mikemack on January 23, 2012

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The word “mentorship comes up alot in my life.

Mentorship is defined as “providing personal development in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.”“Mentoring” is a process that always involves communication and is relationship based.

If you embrace the experience, either to be mentored or be the mentor it can be an amazing and life changing experience.

I can think of many people who have been my mentor in my lifetime.

My parents were my first mentors. My Dad taught me the value of hard work. We always worked before we played. My Mom was my guide to kindness. Always help others when they need your support. While they are no longer here to share their wisdom, I honour the advice by living out their basic, but impactful message every day.

A longtime mentor is my dear friend Vernon. I worked for him when I was 13 years old. Mike, you need to earn your keep and do the job. I actually just talked to him this past week and even though it was a brief call he once again served as a mentor. He said, “Mike, some people can fool others, but you can never fool yourself.” That message resonated with me!

I have many other mentors that are still in my world. My dear friends Arnold, Al, Peter, Eden, Harvey, Joseph and so many more!

What I believe is critical, when you have mentors, is that you have to be willing to “receive” the message. While you may not act on the advice or wisdom immediately, it will simmer in your mind and soul, and you get to retrieve it and use it when you are ready.

An evolution of having and truly appreciating mentorship in your life is when you also become a mentor.

This has been the case for me for many years.

While my career often puts me in that place, it is also in my personal life on a daily basis.

Whether it be my kids Jess and Nick, young MBA students, or Generation X and Y business associates, it is a true joy to serve in the mentorship role.

What will happen over time is that you truly act out your “mentorship” words. You don’t have to keep saying them or preaching them to anyone. You just act the way you mentor all the time. eg. My son Nick and I get together on a regular basis and cook dinner. We select a recipe and tag team on preparing a new and exciting meal. This is our routine that we both look forward to on a weekly basis. We talk about life, fitness, his studies at Business school, or our plans to one day work together. As I reflect on this incredible experience, which I would not trade for anything, I realize many things.
It isn’t just about showing Nick how to cook tasty meals. It isn’t just about showing him some exercise techinques at the gym. It isn’t just about offering tutoring advice for a school project.

As I see it, it is simply about opening up the mentorship library and offering all I know and believe in, and knowing that he is willing and ready to receive it.
The more I mentor Nick or anyone, the more I grow and conduct myself in a certain and consistent way.
Mentorship isn’t always just about knowledge transfer, it is about transferring care to the other person.

Mentoring someone actually makes you better as a person and you grow as well.

Whether it is your own children, a colleague, a friend, or a business associate, if you have something to offer, assuming they are ready to receive it, give it a try. You will be rewarded in more ways that you could ever imagine.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” ― John C. Maxwell

In the words of my Toastmaster mentor and dear friend Peter: “make it a great day”

“Helping you to the next level”

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonita January 23, 2012 at 7:24 am

“is a true joy to serve in the mentorship role”

Mike, your words are always so gracious…..

Make it a great day everyone!!

Bonita

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Peter Kossowan January 23, 2012 at 8:41 am

Again Mike a great article. I have a huge ‘file’ on mentoring and your article adds to the value of the file. Peter

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Joseph January 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

I really ring with the line in your article, “you have to be willing to “receive” the message. While you may not act on the advice or wisdom immediately, it will simmer in your mind and soul”. I like to consider what others pass on to me in light of “what if it is at least 3% true?” and then I deliberately go looking for that truth, for me. Really pays big dividends when what I hear makes me want to get primordial about it :-)

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Blaine Zuk January 23, 2012 at 10:58 am

I have to admit, I too have adopted Peters words ‘Make it a great day!’ and see him as a mentor in my life as well. the ‘Make it’ part of that saying wraps in with your theme of giving, and I couldn’t agree more!
Blaine

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Christene Madsen January 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

Mike, today you have made me tear up…remembering my own Father’s mentorship, as a role model he truly walked his walk. He was always kind to everyone, and when he passed I heard from so many people about how his gentle leadership inspired and impacted them in so many different ways. I still miss having him to ‘bring things too’ but know that his lessons live on in my heart, my memories and now in my own work ethic and practices.

Thank you for your blog…not just advice or thoughts to ponder, but for evoking subtle emotions that are a wee bit sad but still need to be experienced.

Your children are lucky to have you!

Big hug!

Christene

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