Mentoring was a reminder to me of how little we know and how inexperienced we are when we’re in our early 20s! However, it was very satisfying when mentees acted on what we’d been discussing.
Mentoring is important because it helps younger people grow at an accelerated rate by giving them the benefit of insightful questioning and an older person’s wisdom. I would not have achieved what I’ve achieved and had the career I’ve had without two notable mentors in my mid-late 20s and another in my mid-late 30s. They were my advisers, champions and cheerleaders. And with the best of intentions, they also kicked me up the backside from time to time. I’d say to everyone thinking about getting a mentor – stop thinking about it and do it – get a mentor now.
James Scouller, mentor to Barnabas Wale
Mentoring seemed more consistent and focused than coaching. The experience was both challenging and encouraging. Over time, I have been able to measure its impact in a different way – it’s all self-development, but mentoring puts you in someone else’s shoes, you can achieve greater broad and narrow focus. Mentoring is important because no one can truly say they are self-made, all of us need training, inspiration and the input of others, be it parents, family, friends, teachers or professional mentors. Depending on what the individual needs, a mentor can draw their attention to ideas and methods they may never have thought of.
Mentoring helped me to think differently about my self-development, and dare I say helped me to think more strategically. Learning to zoom in and out on issues to gain nuance and lateral perspective was also particularly helpful. I believe that everyone needs mentoring. No matter what stage you are at in life – you can always benefit from consistent good council.
Barnabas Wale, mentee of James Scouller