But the benefits of mentorship can’t always be captured in numbers. Here’s what people from both sides of the mentoring relationship said were their most valuable lessons.
Pete Low, Chief Financial Officer of Halogen Software, shared four key takeaways from his experience as a mentor in Halogen’s Emerging Leader Program:
Learning to Let Go
Brad Barbera, Principal of Pi Innovation LLC, tells us about “the best lesson I ever received, from the best mentor I ever had.” It came while he was experiencing a time at work when looming deadlines and unexpected fires threatened to overwhelm him.
“The VP of my division, who was my boss's boss, saw me at my desk late one night and could tell that I was getting close to blowing a gasket. He asked me about what was going on, and I started to explain about this project and that delay and the other conflict and ... he interrupted me. He asked if any of those things were going to pass my rocking chair test?
“He went on to tell me that when he retired, he planned to get a log cabin in the mountains of Colorado, with a rocking chair on the front porch. He'd then sit in that chair, watching the sun rise or set over the mountains, and reflect back on the important events of his life, both good and bad. He used that image as a way of managing his current priorities. In the here and now, he would think, will this situation be something that I'll be thinking about in my rocking chair?”
Using this test helped Barbera clarify his priorities, which relieved his stress and boosted his productivity. He’s gone on to share this piece of wisdom with his own mentees.
A mentor relationship can yield valuable lessons for both parties. Open up your organization to mentoring, and see what it teaches you and your employees.