Leader Volume 9, Number 9
Your Moments With The Masters
by Dick Biggs
Mr. Biggs is president of
Biggs Optimal Living Dynamics in Gainesville, GA, helping
organizations boost profits and productivity. Phone 770-886-3035;
email email@example.com; website biggspeaks.com
(no www). He is
author of Maximize Your Moments With the Masters (Self published, 2000).
Mentoring is one-on-one leadership--a pairing of a less
experienced person (protegé) with a seasoned master (mentor). And
while role modeling and mentoring are often referred to
synonymously, the two concepts are vastly different. For example:
• A role model is "a person whose behavior in a particular
role is imitated by others." A mentor is "a trusted
counselor, tutor or coach."
• Role modeling isn't optional. The question is: Are you setting
a positive or negative example? Mentoring is optional. The
question is: If you don't get involved, who will?
• You don't choose to be a role model; you're chosen. You must
choose to be a mentor.
• When you're a role model, the primary focus is on you. When
you're a mentor, the primary focus is on the protégé.
• The time commitment of role modeling is simply the life you
lead, with everyone free to observe. The time commitment of
mentoring is a personal involvement in the life of a portage.
• As a role model, you say: "Here's a way to live that you
might want to emulate." As a mentor, you say: "Here's a
way to live that you might want to emulate...and let me share the
details of my journey."
In short, mentoring is a way to take role modeling to the next
level by teaching a protégé the details of who you are, how you
think, what you've done, and why you have something worth
pursuing. A master mentor is a person who has hammered out his or
her life on the anvil of goodness, wisdom, experience and maturity
and is willing to share these lessons with a protégé.
I suggest an annual mentoring program that repeats itself
continuously within an organization. For instance, a protégé is
paired with a different mentor each year until the protégé is
ready to become a mentor.
Each month, the protégé and mentor meet privately to decide on
their action plans. Mentors don't just teach their protégés and
hold them accountable. A
mentor should also select, for him/herself, at least one action
idea per month and the mentor is held accountable by the protégé.
As a result, protégés accelerate their learning curves and
mentors further develop their abilities.
I recommend four lifetime benchmarks for all master mentors:
"Pursue what is true."
Benchmark 2. "Turn creeds into deeds."
Benchmark 3. "Use congruence to influence."
Benchmark 4. "Collect a deep respect."
The first two benchmarks reveal the mindset of master mentors. The
idea is that a protégé should seek a mentor who has high
standards and "practices what he or she preaches." The
last two benchmarks stress the multiplication of master mentors. A
protégé will be most influenced by a mentor who has congruency
between his or her beliefs and behaviors, and that such respect
will result in a desire to become a mentor and pass on these
lessons to other protégés.