Mentorship is one of those things that business leaders forget about if they get caught up in the roles and accountability of leading an organization, large and small. Sometimes, they use the mantra "do as I say, not as I do," forgetting that what they do is what will lead their organization into success or failure. Additionally, effective leaders take time out of what they do to spend quality time with their charges.
I know that as a leader, I have failed dramatically with my mentorship role in the past. Specifically, I recall one key employee. She was wickedly smart, bringing a wealth of knowledge to our organization. And what she did not know, she knew how to find it quickly. Unfortunately, I as a leader did not take the time to mentor her on the differences between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom combines knowledge and experience with the judgement to know when and how to use the information you have. So my superstar employee was a great asset in her knowledge, a bit low in experience, and definitely did not have the judgement to know when to speak up and when to shut up. As a result of her foot-in-mouth disease, I found myself repairing relationships and putting out smoldering brush fires from where she scorched important relationships.
Image via WikipediaThe marketing firm that handled Chrysler's social media found this out, too. Their Twitter snafu dropped the f-bomb to its followers. Many Baby Boomer leaders are enamored with the generation of Millennials and their tech prowess. They forget, however, to teach discretion and the repercussions of actions made both in the workplace and at home. Facebook and Twitter, like all information on the internet, is forever. Top organizations need people who not only know how to work the technology but also how and when to use discretion with all those technology tools. This is not to hamper the activities of our young workers, but a call for executives and managers to step up and make mentorship a number one priority of their leadership development.
Have you been serving as an effective mentor recently? Ask you team for their feedback, and make it a regular part of your schedule to be engaged and active with each member your team.The difference between the knowledge and wisdom can make a huge difference is the success of your organization.
Many thanks to Michael Lee of Express Employment services for hosting the event.
So how can lead as a mentor?
First, tell me your story. We then decide together what resources, like training and executive coaching, will sharpen the leadership skills of you and your management team. We can also improve your mentoring program. Don't wait until your employees have a major malfunction and destroy relationships. Call me today at 206-782-4040 or connect on Skype at tracy.corley.