I don’t know about you, but I don’t really watch much TV. Something I do love to do though is watch The Voice. The mix of talent, both performers and coaches in one room astounds me and I always wonder if they have decided which coach they want to work with before they go on stage (I assume they have!).
When I watch Kylie, Will.I.Am, Ricky and Joel, I find it fascinating how they pitch their USP and why you should work with me. Each sells their expertise and what make them most relevant to the contestant achieving their dreams so they will pick them. I often use The Voice as the example when I ask people if they have a mentor.
First of all I believe you need to have a mentor. I have been fortunate to have wonderful mentors in my life, both paid an unpaid. Mentors help us save time by helping us find the pathway we need quickly. They save us mistakes and open us up to their networks. Without them we feel like getting traction takes a long time and it’s a big effort to make things happen.
The Rules of finding the right mentor are (and the nominees are…..):
- Know your goal: Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve for the next 12 months. 90 days is too short for a strong mentor relationship and 5 years is too long. Just focus on what you want by the end of the year. For example if your goal is to improve your networks then find a mentor who not only does that well but can articulate and show you how they do it.
- Look for the person who has done that already. Ask your friends, colleagues, Facebook mates, LinkedIn connections, Google it or Tweet it. Industry bodies can also be a good place to start. You’re not just looking for any mentor. You’re looking for the one that will help you achieve that goal that you’re hoping to nail.
- Ask if they mentor people. Once you’ve found the right person you may have to pay them for their time. This is an investment in your future and the reason that person has been able to do it means they are successful and likely very busy. A coffee or buying lunch for them is not always going to cut it. Alternatively you can offer to do something for them like helping them on a project. It has taken them years to work out what you’re wanting to learn in an hour so be respectful of the value they bring.
- Rapport is key. Make sure you like and trust them. They don’t have to be your best friend but it’s going to be an open conversation at times. Make sure you’re comfortable to work with them.
So, on your development plan or goal board make sure you have the words “find a mentor” this year so that you can get to the end of the year and look back being proud of what you achieved!
Love to know your thoughts…
Jane Anderson is a Speaker and Author who works with Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Thought Leaders, Experts and CEO’s to leverage the expertise of their talent through LinkedIn.
To inquire about Jane speaking at your next event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org