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Why do you mentor?

I run a mentor-driven program designed to help young social entrepreneurs from emerging countries scale the impact they seek to have in their communities. We have a fantastic growing network of mentors and we're always looking to add more. For those who have served as a mentor, I'd love to know:
  • What motivates you to serve as a mentor?
  • How do you select who you mentor?
  • What expectations do you have of your mentee?
  • What would make the mentoring experience better for you?
  • What tools or support would make it easier to lend your time? (i.e - someone to schedule meeting for you, email reminders of meetings, an app like assistant.to, etc.)

15 Replies

Alfred Edmond Jr.
2
0
Multi-Media Entrepreneur/Professional, Public Speaker, Expert Moderator, Personal Growth Advocate, Author, Editor
Hi, Monica; Thanks for inviting my feedback on the subject of mentoring, which I very much believe in and enjoy. Here are my answers to your questions: I'm am motivated to mentor by my desire to constantly seed, grow and replenish my personal and professional network with high-value, high-integrity people. My goal is to evolve from traditional mentor-protege relationships to more of a peer-to-peer relationship of respect and reciprocation as soon as organically possible. In the best case scenario, I am being mentored by (especially in areas that are new to me, or where I am not experienced/connected) at least as much as I am mentoring a person. Mentoring is one of my preferred ways to cross-cultivate contacts and relationships across industries and ares of interest, bringing ever-increasing scale to my sphere of influence. I select people to mentor organically. What catches my attention is if I find the person and what they're into to be of genuine interest to me. Beyond that, I look for people who show up, step up and follow through, with or without my (or anyone else's) help or advice. I like to mentor people with a bias toward action; my contribution is to make that action more fruitful, often by connecting them with other resources and relationships. My biggest expectations of mentees: 1. That they don't wait around on me to take action; 2. That they commit to mentoring others; 3. That listen to others, but always trust their own judgement--win, lose or draw; 4. That they focus on learning and applying the lessons of each experience/outcome. Can't think of anything to make the mentoring experience better for me; my satisfaction consistently exceeds my investment of time and attention. Nor can I think of additional desired tools. All the best, Alfred Alfred A. Edmond Jr., Co-Principal *Grown Zone*, *a product of* A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises *More than Adult Choices*. *Grown Decisions* www.GrownZone.com My book with Zara D. Green is now available via Amazon , Barnes and Noble and through our publisher, Balboa Press : *Changing the conversation about what healthy love is!* *Loving In the Grown Zone:* A No-Nonsense Guide to Making Healthy Decisions in the Quest for Loving, Romantic Relationships of Honor, Esteem and Respect www.lovinginthegrownzone.com
Wolfgang Strigel
3
0
Partner at Vancouver Expert Coaches
Monica, over the last 8 years I have mentored over 60 companies in Germany, US, Canada and Bolivia. I do this to give back and share my experience of starting and growing 2 successful software companies, but also because I love it, there is a new challenge with each assignment and I love working with young and creative people.
I select who I mentor mostly based on personal aspects of the mentee (smart, keen, gutsy, humble but aggressive) and less by industry segment or type of challenge.
My expectations are: hard work, prompt and frequent communication, honesty, willingness/ability to change.
I have no answers for the last 2 questions. I run my own calendar and don't need yet another app.
Jolkona is intriguing and a great idea. I am "next door" in Vancouver if I can be of any help.
A.J. Lawrence
2
0
A.J. Lawrence Entrepreneur
Data focused revenue growth executive from startups to Global1000s
Monica, those are great questions.

  • What motivates you to serve as a mentor?
To give a chance to reduce the frustrations I had in starting out. To learn from new perspectives. To get energized from their energy.
  • How do you select who you mentor?
Whether we have something in commonor a way of looking at the world, or even a similar willingness to make things happen.
  • What expectations do you have of your mentee?
Passion, dedication to their dreams, williingness to learn, abilty to disagree, politely, engagement.
  • What would make the mentoring experience better for you?
Deeper insight into my mentees environemnt. Clearer understanding of what they need. My learning to ask better questions.
  • What tools or support would make it easier to lend your time? (i.e - someone to schedule meeting for you, email reminders of meetings, an app likeassistant.to, etc.)
Too many tools are around this. They just get in the way of engaging. Mentoring shouldn't be a tool assisted schedule. It should be more flowing, that said anything that makes your own workflow better should be useful.

Monica Mendoza
1
0
Monica Mendoza Advisor
Executive Director at Jolkona passionately promoting global innovation by empowering young social entrepreneurs.
Thank you for the great input! I really appreciate your perspective on mentorship. For me, mentoring is so rewarding and I have learned a lot from those I mentor too. I have benefitted a great deal from mentors. Folks who have generously shared their time and wisdom. Just having someone who can help you talk through ideas or to add a different point of view on challenges you are experiencing is priceless. I love working with tenacious mentees who are not afraid of taking big leaps and trying things. I really love folks that are proactive and who follow up when they say they will. Getting feedback on how I'm doing as a mentor would be the one thing I can think of that would make the experience better. I want to make sure I am meeting the needs of those who seek me out and feedback is always appreciated. I agree with A.J. that too many tools get in the way but I have tried to make sure to really take care of the mentors I have in our program in any way possible. The easiest way to support them is just to ensure I give them enough information about their mentees, that I remind them when they are scheduled to meet and to provide options for places to meet. Thanks again for your thoughts...keep them coming. I will also reach out to those who are interested in learning more about our program and getting involved!
Ken Queen
0
0
Ken Queen Entrepreneur
Income For Baby Boomers
My mentorship's are short lived because often the answer to a companies problem is usually easy for me to figure out so this causes a very short mentorship. Often the answer I give people when they hear it, they almost think after a few days or weeks that they figured it out on their own. Maybe I should drag it out but I just can't it's to painful to keep holding back not giving them the answer as soon as a figure out the solution. It doesn't build a big practice sometimes but it does allow you to sleep good at night.
Jan Van Aken
0
0
Jan Van Aken Entrepreneur
The Cleaning System - Oplossingen & advies in schoonmaakbeheer
Monica, I just finished one of my "mentor ships" with someone who was in trouble, both personal as professional. It is very rewarding to help this person grow and solve these issues, build a small company and start living again.
On a larger scale, example Inland Shipping organisation in my Belgium, I did exactly the same, results were a little bigger with more impact but basically it is just the same ...
It is always about bringing outside vision so that the 'owner' can prosper and grow. My recent professional project solved quite a few practical organisational issues in a group of 10 hospitals with +500 cleaners. In spite of conservative attitudes from groups who oppose any change, it will happen given a few local champions.
It really is always about people and what they want and how their organisation can benefit. By the end of the day there should always be something new, inspiring and improved to make every one happier with their jobs and help them achieve better results.
In my past it was about production, logistics and organisations improving their structure making their people happier better workers. For an organisation I have so often seen the complete revival.
Strangely, most solutions are simple, obvious and were always there. My contacts always say: "yes we knew but didn't see the road to do it.

Tools: I always use high tec, ICT, software, project management to create clarity. The other 80% are people and their will to grow.
Peter Kestenbaum
0
0
Peter Kestenbaum Entrepreneur
Advisor, Investor, Mentor to Emerging firms
Give Back... No one did it for me until I met my "wonderful" boss at SUN Microsystems.. No one teaches you what you need to know..

I have 20 (and sigh... 30 year olds)... They are in different industries than me .... They have mentors and I see how much value they receive

How do you learn.. Do you think an engineer graduating from a tier 1 school who knows how to code or design knows how to be an engineer in a company that has to build a product for profit... or a coder that understands the difference between code that works and code that scales ( or is saleable@!). Or a business school grad who can whip through a spread sheet and knows the ins and out of corporate or venture finance but has never seen a term sheet or led an offering... As a 20 something what happens the first time you need to speak intelligently to a corporate exec or funding source...

There is a difference between smart young people and experienced people ... and a difference between smart young people who know there are things they do not know and cannot learn from a book or a meetup ( those are the ones I like to work with ) vs those who think they know it all ( witness the on going thread about the founder who wants to keep all the equity for himself and not build a team.. clearly someone I would not like to mentor )

Mentoring is an art not a science... its best explained by a recent example... a firm I work with had a very creditable idea and prototype for a product usable by a fortune 1000 firm but as a startup of course had little traction... they asked several of us what to do... We told them to stop trying to sell the Fortune firms... go to the business development group and ask for opinions of their product... they followed that bit of "mentor advice". the firm of course recognized the value, put the product in one of their display areas at CES and now the entrepreneur is in consumer trials with them... Cost him nothing ... cost me nothing,.. but glad we were able to help... thats the value of mentoring...
Janine Davis
1
0
Janine Davis Advisor
President & Co-Founder Fetch Recruiting & Fetch Advisors

Hi Monica,

I would love to learn more about your mentorship program. To answer your questions:

  • What motivates you to serve as a mentor? I am a naturally curious person, and often mentoring just comes out as a natural extension of getting to know someone. The motivation is helping others, plain and simple
  • How do you select who you mentor? . I also do more formal mentoring and coaching for my startup clients (CEOs, CTOs), as well as pitch coaching. I'm particularly involved with helping women in tech, women in startups and teenage entrepreneurs.
  • What expectations do you have of your mentee? Do what they say they are going to do.
  • What would make the mentoring experience better for you? More time in the day!
  • What tools or support would make it easier to lend your time? (i.e - someone to schedule meeting for you, email reminders of meetings, an app like assistant.to, etc.) Anything to facilitate online scheduling, so there is not a lot of back and forth. The more automated the better.

Thanks and good luck!
Ming Tsui
0
0
Ming Tsui Entrepreneur
HabitatForAll.org
Hi Monica,

The truth is not many people wants to help and mentor others because
of many reasons such as lack of time especially in today's social progress
or lack of it.

Good news is for those who are willing to spend time to help others could make
big impact on society since all you need are a few great ideas that could improve
the world. As an example of what I am talking about is like Dr Tesla with his alternating
invention over direct current motors. That invention improved the world immensely
and helped modernized society everywhere except a few militarized controlled small
nations.

Anyway, the few that could help mentor the few mentees are what is really needed.
Those mentors are the ones making big impact for society even when there are only
a few of them around.

I like to mentor others because I was offered mentoring service for free. I guess this
is a way to give back. I kind of believe people who mentor others are probably some
of the best humans beings ever lived on this planet or will be seen to be so but many
probably will be unknown names for history.

Maybe society should start giving recognition to mentors by giving them awards of
some kind. I think this is the right thing to do.
Ming Tsui
0
0
Ming Tsui Entrepreneur
HabitatForAll.org
We need more human beings like Alfred Edmond. Wish we could meet paths one day.
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