Two very interesting posts on Mentoring by Bob Roosner and Fast Company. Roosner talks about how you should go about mentoring .He give some vital action points and thoughts for self evaluation before one looks for a mentor. One interesting fact that he mentions is that “Most of us think of a mentor as someone who is older and more powerful than we are.He talks about the process of "reverse mentoring" where top executives spend time with younger people on the front lines to learn from their perspective.
I think reverse mentoring is something which many leaders need to adopt,it helps them to connect to the young and more ambitious talented and energetic work force of toady. Policy makers and team leads will find it a very helpful technique for team building and motivating employee’s .As a young lad when one finds his voice being heard in the organization I think it does a lot to create an impression of being an interactive and responsive organization.
What skills or traits do I want to develop? The best mentor searches don’t begin with who is available, they begin with you and what you need to improve.
Do I want to learn from someone similar or someone different?
Do I want someone I already know or someone new? This question all comes down to trust. Some of us only feel comfortable if we have history with a person, while others can easily open themselves up to a stranger.
How much time do I want to spend? Some mentor relationships last for an hour, while others can go on for years with many meetings. What do you think the optimal timeframe is for you?
Who is the person I can learn the most from? Most of us think of a mentor as someone who is older and more powerful than we are. This isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, there is a new trend of "reverse mentoring" where top executives spend time with younger people on the front lines to learn from their perspective. So open yourself up to mentors from above, to the side and below.
On the other hand Fast company post talks about the concept of radical mentors
" - senior executives who've cared enough to push her, even when it hurt. Radical mentors "move people along faster than they want to go," she says. "It's not natural for people to grow as fast as you need them to. People don't grow if you're soft with them. You catapult people forward by being extremely blunt."
Sound tough? It is. Carpenter suggests that senior leaders ask themselves this question: Who are 10 young leaders that I can grow quickly, and what's a crash course that's right for them? "Then you form a contract with those people: 'I would like to help you move along faster. Are you willing to buckle your seat belt and go?' " Mentors have to manage their commitments as well.
The key to radical mentoring, Carpenter says, is real-time feedback - direct, honest, public. Most business decisions don't involve such life-and-death consequences.
But the principles of radical mentoring are the same: Personal growth hurts; people won't benefit unless they consciously sign up for it; the process requires as much commitment from the mentor as from the mentee.
Carpenter is convinced that this kind of intellectual honesty is what young people need - especially in fast-moving industries. "People have much greater capacity for growth than they get credit for," she says. "Once you get your first taste of being really challenged, you want to be challenged more."
This concept reminds me of the movie MIRACLE starring Kurt Russell, Eddie Cahill, Patricia Clarkson, based on real life incident on the 1980 U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey Team and Their Victory Over the Soviet Union at the Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York