If you’ve ever had a great mentor you’ll know they’re worth their weight in gold. In equal parts they can be your accountant, financial adviser, life coach and best friend. Here, then, are six characteristics that define a truly great mentor.
1. They’re a tough taskmaster
Great mentors expect people to deliver. They demand the highest standards and won’t accept compromise. They expect both short term and long term success. At times they can be tough but sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed to get you performing at your peak.
2. They demand clarity
A great mentor will demand that you reveal your motives. They’ll expect you to explain and be clear about what’s driving you, your goals and your morals. They’ll keep asking questions and prodding for answers until you’re crystal clear about your what and your why.
3. They expect you to take risks
Mentors won’t let you take the easy path. They want you to step onto the edge, to take a risk, to attempt something daring. And they do that because they know that you’ve got more in you than you’re delivering right now.
4. They encourage us to become lifelong students
Great mentors never stop learning. They love it themselves and they instil that love in others. With a mentor’s guidance you’ll read more, attend more courses and seminars and listen to others more closely.
5. They’re a guide
A good mentor will show you the way, after all the risks you’re about to undertake are untrodden ground. They’ll talk you through the terrain that requires technical skill, they’ll tell you when you need to make an extra special effort and they’ll inspire you to do more when all you want to do is stop.
6. They’ll cheer you on
Let’s face it, running a business can get tough and sometimes you need someone who can lift you up and cheer you on. A true mentor will do that, especially in those dark moments when you need to hear a voice of encouragement.
Have you had a great mentor? What characteristic stood out for you?
Image credit: Adam Kubalica on Flickr