Over the past year, I have enjoyed being a mentor, coach, student, and mentee. Actually, I believe it’s a pillar of leadership excellence. Life is a journey of continuous learning, teaching and giving back by paying it forward.

That’s a mouth full, let’s break them down one-by-one.

Being asked to mentor someone is such an honor and a privilege. To be a positude leader, you have to give back by seeking out a passionate staff member who is primed for advancement but doesn’t quite possess the skills or knowledge necessary to make the leap.

Being a mentor comes with real responsibilities, it is your duty to provide contend material and develop a pathways or curriculum from which your mentee can receive guidance and have the ability to ask great questions.

Equally or at times even more importantly, a positude leader should also be a mentee. Seeking input and guidance from the next level manager will prepare you for the next level. It’s an opportunity to have a professional sounding board to ensure you are on the right path and utilize the right tools at the right time.

To be a great mentee, you have to be engaged, set expectation and drive the mentor/mentee relationship. Be open, nimble and teachable at all times. Your mentor doesn’t always have to be right, they are to provoke thought that drives change and action on part of the mentee.

Paying it forward is a positude leaders way of paying respect to those who took the time to teach you. Passionate young people who deserve to advance can and will benefit from your time and if you do things well, they too will seek someone to mentor in due time.

-W

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