Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served this great country.
I had discussed various things about mentorship during last week’s post. I became compelled to follow that post up with this burning topic, which is being a mentee. There is power in being a mentee, and this post will expound on that for you.
The Power of Being a Mentee
As discussed last week, being a mentor is the difference between poverty and prosperity. The role of a mentor serves an important role for a budding entrepreneur. A mentor does not hide secrets from you. What I mean by that is mentors can uncover areas in your development that you may have been hiding from yourself. For example, you could have been inadvertently self-sabotaging your progress; until your mentor points you into the right frame of mind.
I believe that mentorship is a gift. Mentorship is needed in order to expedite your learning curve. You can literally shave off months or even years of errors by learning from a mentor. Who wouldn’t want to side-step some struggle in order to progress quicker? This is certainly why the relationship between a mentor and a mentee cannot be compromised.
How to be a Mentee?
A mentee, by definition is one who is protected or trained or whose career is furthered by a person of experience, prominence, or influence. Other terms for a mentee are: protégé, disciple, or student among others.
Everyone looks for someone to pour into their experience. You this in high school and college where underclassmen reach out to upperclassmen when discussing classes or professors, etc. The same reigns true in business. A true success will produce successors. Therefore it is important for mentors to be connected to their mentee as well as assigned to them. You should want a successor in some way, shape, or form. When someone is successful, you would like to be able to see who mentored them.
How to NOT Approach a Mentor
The one thing that defeats the purpose of having a mentor is ego. Most of us come to the table with our cups full, as opposed to listening to what the mentor has to say. I live by the mantra “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Most people do not want anyone pouring into them, but yet they want to pour into someone else.
The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is intimate. He or she already knows the good, bad, and the ugly with you. It’s your job as a mentee, to be able to accept their advice and tutelage.
4 Types of Mentee
Author Mike Murdock mentions there are four types of mentees in his book The Law of Recognition. I will discuss each type below.
The passive mentee only reaches out when it is convenient for themselves. This mentee type also reaches out when their efforts are not producing their desired results. Subconsciously the passive mentee expects the mentor to produce results for them. They want all of their problems fixed by the mentor.
The parasite mentee pursues the mentor relationship for credibility, instead of correction. This mentee type has a manipulative spirit, and will use the name or the spirit of the mentor to manipulate others into relationships. They want what the mentor has earned, and not what they have learned. This type wants the reputation without the proper preparation.
We know that a parasite is a person who exploits the hospitality of the rich and earns welcome by flattery. Remember, parasites are out for a free meal, at any cost. I like to think of this mentee type this way: if your alleged mentor does not know you, then you do not have a relationship. Although it may be difficult to believe, but there are plenty of people who go around and drop names as if they know the mentor on a personal basis. This mentee type can be extremely dangerous, steer clear of them immediately.
This mentee type is the most common. Prodigal mentees are often reckless and wasteful. This mentee type enters and exits relationships freely. When they become dissatisfied with their current mentors advice, they move on to another mentor who has not yet discovered their flaws. Prodigal mentees will separate themselves accordingly.
Just like the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the Bible; these mentee types do not want correction, they want someone to pacify them after all else has failed for themselves. There are some people who want to be spoiled by praise rather than saved by criticism.
This is the mentee type we should all aspire to become. Productive mentees have a serving heart. Instead of always wanting things done for themselves, they seek ways to possibly serve others. Being of service to others is beneficial to both the mentor as well as the mentee.
Productive mentees never make a major decision without the mentors counsel. They do not hang their hat on every waking whim of the mentor, but they will call on their mentor if a true tough decision lies ahead. This mentee type views their mentors like gifts from God, and they treat them as such.
These mentees love their mentors as much as they love themselves and honor them. They invest so much into the mentor relationship. Productive mentees honor and value their mentors counsel. They realize that mentorship is a one-way street. You do not go back and forth arguing (and such) with your mentor. This mentee type realizes this and respects that the mentors time is valuable.
What the mentor has to say or teach is the most valuable. This sort of relationship may not always be evident right away. This relationship takes time to develop. You have to grow into this kind of relationship. When the time comes though, you must be ready to accept this gift (mentor’s time). Mentors are not your boss, so value them. Ask what you can do for your mentor, be of service.
Your mentor is the key to your promotion. They want you to win. Remember, your mentor is connected to your success!
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