A mentor and good friend of mine once told me, “We are uniquely positioned to help the person we once were.” And I couldn’t agree more. Acting as a leader and mentor not only helps employees but also sharpens our skills and helps us come from a place of service and contribution.
In my own work as the professional coach in one of my companies, but also in my role as a leader and manager across all of the companies I run, I have found there are three key ways you can be a leader and mentor to those who are on your same path. Those who are yearning to grow and contribute more but who are maybe just a few steps behind you.
1. Be Approachable And Of Service
It’s important to not be unreachable and aloof but, rather, to make yourself available and connect with younger colleagues and people underneath you in your organization. It’s also critical to come from a place of service.
For instance, take some time and make the effort to meet with a few people for coffee every month. Discuss ways you can help support them and their career development. Be a resource for them and answer their questions. Often, employees think you don’t have time for them. And this is true for many leaders. Be different and prove that assumption wrong.
2. Teach And Be Taught
We don’t always realize all of the valuable skills and knowledge that could be of service to others. When we are willing to share what we know and come from a place of abundance and openness rather than scarcity and competitiveness, true breakthroughs and growth can happen. When we want everyone to succeed, we end up succeeding at a higher level ourselves.
Also, if we strive to remain a student of our craft and the world, we can learn a lot from mentoring and leading those who are younger and less experienced than us. But it requires an open attitude and the mindset that we’re always learning and don’t know everything.
3. Lead With Purpose
Lastly, we need to lead with purpose and have a clear direction and a solid why that underpins and powers our ambition and professional direction. When this is present, we can become more aligned. What’s more, it helps us be more intentional about coming from a place of service, paying it forward and lifting and leading those who are following in our footsteps.
When we work to help others achieve their goals and dreams and support them in that effort, we end up achieving our goals and dreams at a higher level. Embrace these three ways of being a better leader and mentor, and watch the same happen for you.