Eric Jacobson

Posts Tagged ‘Mentoring’

Choose To Select A Mentor For 2017

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Mentoring, Uncategorized on November 29, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do to advance your career as a leader. So, decide today to secure a mentor who will work with you during 2017. Make that one of your New Year’s resolutions.

A mentor can benefit leaders new to their leadership role and they can benefit experienced and seasoned leaders, as well.

A strong mentoring relationship allows the mentor and the mentee to develop new skills and talents, to build confidence, and to build self-awareness.

Proper mentoring takes a commitment from both parties and it takes time to develop and to reap the rewards of the relationship. Plan to work with your mentor for no less than three months, and ideally for six months or longer.

When seeking out a mentor, think about these questions:

1.  Will the relationship have good personal chemistry?

2.  Can this person guide me, particularly in the areas where I am weakest?

3.  Will this person take a genuine interest in me?

4.  Does this person have the traits and skills I want to develop?

5.  Is this a person I admire?

6.  Does this person have the time needed to properly mentor me? And, do I also have the time to devote to a mentoring relationship?

Most often, you’ll find your best mentors are not your supervisors, but instead are other individuals in your workplace, at other companies in your city, or are members of organizations to which you belong.

Before you start to search for your mentor for 2017, take some time to learn more about mentoring — how mentoring programs work most effectively and what to expect from a mentoring relationship.

One nice benefit of having mentoring as a New Year’s resolution is you’ll have a dedicated partner helping you to fulfill your resolution!

The Difference Between Coaches And Mentors

In Coaching, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Mentoring on November 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

Author Kristi Hedges, in her book, The Power of Presence, provides these explanations of the roles of a coach and of a mentor and how they differ from each other:

The Coach shows empathy through a mixture of tough love and strong support.  The coach is not afraid to push you because she sees the best in you.  This leader has a good sense of what’s going on in the rest of your life and isn’t afraid to mention it as it relates to your performance and potential.

The Mentor makes you feel that your success is always top of mind.  Mentors have your back to guide you along in your career.  They will act as a confidante as you hash through ideas and won’t hold it against you as your iterate.  Because they have done well, they operate from a point of helping others do the same.

Insights On Mentoring

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Management, Mentoring on December 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Leadership with education

When I think about excellent mentors in the business world, I think of Debbie Laskey, who has mentored many people during her career.  Debbie is passionate about mentoring.  So, she’s an ideal person to answer the following five questions about mentoring:

1.  Why do you enjoy being a mentor?

Since I have been in the workplace for nearly two decades, I have had the opportunity to learn from a number of individuals. Some were supervisors, some were executives, some were co-workers, and some were employees who reported to me. However, the mentorship relationship is different than those relationships. As a mentor, I have been able to share what I’ve learned with individuals (mentees) who are at the beginning stages of building a business. They have an insatiable appetite for suggestions and always appreciate ideas – even if they don’t apply them immediately. Mentees have no agenda and no time for unnecessary drama. While they may question suggestions, most of the time, they have an open mind, and this characteristic often leads to long-term success.

2.  Before a mentee enters into a mentoring engagement what should he/she ask himself/herself?

Before a mentee enters into a mentorship engagement, he or she must write down five objectives and a realistic timeframe. Is one objective to finalize a business plan or marketing plan? Is one objective to determine how to build a database of leads? Is one objective how to develop strategic partnerships? Whatever the objectives are, the mentee must know what they are before the mentorship begins– or the mentorship will fail before it even begins. And, how long should the mentor and mentee continue to dialogue? Three months? Six months? It is critical to set a timeframe so that the mentor can stagger the talking points and action items.

3.  What type of person makes an effective mentor?

The art of being an effective mentor is dependent on five things. First, a mentor must make a time commitment to the mentee, so he or she needs to have time available. Second, a mentor must be able to communicate easily and clearly. Third, a mentor must be knowledgeable in a myriad of areas. Fourth, a mentor must be a problem-solver. And fifth, a mentor must like the role of cheerleader. While it might make sense to have a mentor in the same industry, that’s not always the best solution if you can find a multi-dimensional business leader.

4.  Of all the mentors you have had in your life, what did you like most about the one who you believe was a good mentor to you?

My most important mentor has been my father. He demonstrated an amazing work ethic, and that dedication has been part of my professional life since my first job. He also taught me the importance of client service (aka, customer service), and the importance of returning phone calls and emails as soon as possible. Also, since my father was a CPA, he was always reading about new tax laws, so he taught me at an early age to stay up-to-date on my industry and trends.

5.  If you can’t find a mentor within your workplace, where are good places to find a mentor?

Network with your contacts through social media. Post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ that you’re looking for a mentor. In addition, check out MicroMentor.com. This site offers a variety of mentorship connections. Lastly, once you’ve benefited from your mentorship, pay it forward. Be a mentor to someone else!

In the words of John Crosby: “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

Debbie Laskey has a BA Degree in Political Science and an MBA Degree with a concentration in Marketing and International Management. She began her career in law and accounting, but after graduate school, she transitioned into marketing. 

Her diverse marketing experience ranges from the high-tech industry to the Consumer Marketing Department at Disneyland Paris in France to the non-profit industry to the insurance industry. 

Debbie’s areas of expertise include marketing, branding, social media, employee engagement, and customer experiences. Follow Debbie on Twitter @DebbieLaskeyMBA and on her blog.

The Power Of Mentoring: Formal And Informal

In General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Management, Mentoring on January 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Sports heroes mention their mentors at award ceremonies. Successful business people thank their mentors at career milestone celebrations. Young adults who later become accomplished acknowledge their mentors when asked who was influential in their success.

Mentoring is indeed powerful.

Most leaders have been both a mentor and a mentee at some point in their careers. Sometimes, though, not everyone understands the important difference between informal mentoring and formal mentoring.

  • Formal mentoring is structured, intentional, and short-termed (typically about three to six months). It also requires the support of top management.

As a leader in your workplace, consider establishing a formal mentoring program to supplement the informal mentoring that is surely taking place at your company/organization. And, to offer employees mentoring options for those who can’t participate outside the workplace.

You can learn about formal mentoring from many sources, but here is one resource/company that can provide you with easy-to-follow workbooks for both the mentor and mentee:

Decide To Find A Mentor In 2011

In Leadership, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management, Mentoring on December 22, 2010 at 8:31 am

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do to advance your career as a leader.  So, decide today to secure a mentor who will work with you during 2011.  Make that one of your New Year’s resolutions. 

A mentor can benefit leaders new to their leadership role and they can benefit experienced and seasoned leaders, as well.

A strong mentoring relationship allows the mentor and the mentee to develop new skills and talents, to build confidence, and to build self-awareness. 

Proper mentoring takes a commitment from both parties and it takes time to develop and to reap the rewards of the relationship. Plan to work with your mentor for no less than three months, and ideally for six months or longer. 

When seeking out a mentor, think about these questions:

  1. Will the relationship have good personal chemistry?
  2. Can this person guide me, particularly in the areas where I am weakest?
  3. Will this person take a genuine interest in me?
  4. Does this person have the traits and skills I want to develop?
  5. Is this a person I admire?
  6. Does this person have the time needed to properly mentor me?  And, do I also have the time to devote to a mentoring relationship?

Most often, you’ll find your best mentors are not your supervisors, but instead are other individuals in your workplace, at other companies in your city, or are members of organizations to which you belong.

Before you start to search for your mentor for 2011, take some time to learn more about mentoring — how mentoring programs work most effectively and what to expect from a mentoring relationship.

One nice benefit of having mentoring as a New Year’s resolution is you’ll have a dedicated partner helping you to fulfill your resolution!

Unemployed Leaders Can Be Good Mentors

In Leadership, Mentoring on April 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm

If you are unemployed, but have a history of successful leadership accomplishments and/or entrepreneurial, management and business success, you are likely ideal to be a mentor to a budding entrepreneur and emerging small business owner.

Being a mentor allows you to use your skills and experience, keeps you challenged and busy, and focuses your mind on someone other than yourself. 

Unemployed professionals can become a mentor via the web site, MicroMentor.org.

MicroMentor is a free web-based service that connects mentors with mentees around the country.  The site puts experience to work by offering business professionals meaningful volunteer opportunities and by offering entrepreneurs one-one-one advice to help build successful businesses.

Of course, employed professionals also serve as mentors to mentees, many of whom have limited access to business resources because of where they live.

Currently, there are:

  • More than 1,300 entrepreneurs (potential mentees) and more than 1,000 business people (potential mentors) enrolled in the service
  • 1,170 mentoring matches

Of the potential mentees enrolled in the service:

  • 60% are women
  • 43% are minority

How It Works:  Mentors and mentees each create a profile on the web site detailing his or her mentoring needs or experience that can be viewed by others.  Mentors and mentees then connect via the site, and once a match is made, the mentoring can take place through e-mail, phone calls, web conferencing or instant messaging.

Most mentoring matches last up to three months, however; depending on the scope of the project, a relationship could take place over a full year.

Typical Scenario:  A typical scenario is a mentee seeks advice and guidance to help him/her write a business plan for a new business.  The mentor may communicate with the mentee weekly or twice a month, for example, to:

  • offer advice and direction
  • review the material the mentee creates
  • serve as a sounding board
  • brainstorm
  • provide resources, examples, worksheets

Mentees seeking a mentor often need guidance on projects less than a full business plan, such as help with marketing, accounting, and social media and web site strategy.

MicroMentor, which started in 2001, is a nonprofit initiative of Mercy Corps., which is a nonprofit, humanitarian agency that implements community-led and market-driven programs in over 35 developing countries.

Find A Mentor In 2010

In General Leadership Skills on December 19, 2009 at 7:56 am

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do to advance your career as a leader.  So, decide today to secure a mentor who will work with you during 2010.  Make that one of your New Year’s resolutions. 

A mentor can benefit leaders new to their leadership role and they can benefit experienced and seasoned leaders, as well.

A strong mentoring relationship allows the mentor and the mentee to develop new skills and talents, to build confidence, and to build self-awareness. 

Proper mentoring takes a commitment from both parties and it takes time to develop and to reap the rewards of the relationship. Plan to work with your mentor for no less than three months, and ideally for six months or longer. 

When seeking out a mentor, think about these questions:

  1. Will the relationship have good personal chemistry?
  2. Can this person guide me, particularly in the areas where I am weakest?
  3. Will this person take a genuine interest in me?
  4. Does this person have the traits and skills I want to develop?
  5. Is this a person I admire?
  6. Does this person have the time needed to properly mentor me?  And, do I also have the time to devote to a mentoring relationship?

Most often, you’ll find your best mentors are not your supervisors, but instead are other individuals in your workplace, at other companies in your city, or are members of organizations to which you belong.

Before you start to search for your mentor for 2010, take some time to learn more about mentoring — how mentoring programs work most effectively and what to expect from a mentoring relationship.

One nice benefit of having mentoring as a New Year’s resolution is you’ll have a dedicated partner helping you to fulfill your resolution!

%d bloggers like this: