Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mentoring - The guerilla's secret weapon

Mentoring – The toughest job you’ll ever love.

Ok, how many of you remember the Peace Corps recruiting slogan – “The toughest job you’ll ever love”? It speaks of a higher calling to serve the commuinity, where the rewards far outweigh the effort you put forth. Wow… talk about an altruistic focus!

As guerilla warriors, you too have a good and noble cause - to rid the world of bad management. Ok, so it’s not so noble a cause as curing world hunger, but one has to choose one’s battles and while both are daunting challenges, you can make a big impact on our cause with little steps today.

According to the soon to be published Guerilla Manifesto, we always look for simple tools and techniques to make the biggest impact - leveraging small efforts into huge results - in that view,
mentoring could be considered the guerilla's secret weapon. Mentoring is the relationship where a more experienced person provides a structured and focused learning opportunity to a lesser experienced person. We’re going to focus on your role as the Mentor today.

It would seem at this point that mentorships are a one-way street with the mentee getting all the benefit, but I can assure you that you the as the mentor, you will be getting an even greater benefit. In being a proper mentor, you will need to brush up on parts of your game where you may not be at the top of your form. You will need to listen, coach, collaborate and leverage your knowledge and contacts to provide your mentee with the best resources to develop in the areas you have agreed to work on. It’s like the old US Army training doctrine – if you want someone to develop expertise on a subject, have them prepare for and deliver a training session to their peers on it; they invariably end up much smarter on the topic than they were before. The same will hold true for you in your mentoring engagement.

So, your task is to get in touch with your HR folks, Staff Development, or even your boss, colleagues and friends and seek out an opportunity to give someone with less experience the opportunity to benefit from what you know. If you do it right, you’ll come out with far more than the thanks of the mentee; you will surely learn and improve your standing in the process. You will achieve true win-win! Even better, by providing a great mentoring experience to your mentee, you can invest them with our mindset and gain another ally in our battle - expanding our reach and influence over all the bad management around us - And that’s how guerilla’s get it done.

No comments: