Mentorship seems to be a vague notion, doesn’t it?
For some of you, this methodology relates only to the professional side. But to me, it is also linked to a personal aspect.
To give you a specific or simple definition of mentorship appears as impossible.
I think each person (even unconsciously) has a mentor. Let’s take this definition: « A mentor is someone who motivates and inspires you, who you admire. A kind of guide in your personal and professional life. »
In certain company, they impose a system of mentorship. The “fake mentors” as I call them – who may nonetheless become “true mentors” depending on whether the individual decides. They are intended to guide employees and to understand them psychologically. The final goal – as you guess – is to motivate them in order that they become a real added value to the business. I’m sure that our HR friends will advocate the human side, the development of the personal development, etc. Do you believe them? Unfortunately, I don’t. This is only one definition, among many others of a professional mentorship and just my point of view.
We can take another example – more fun. Let’s talk now about teenagers (and yes everybody at any age can have a mentor). The other day I heard a teenage girl on TV talking about the singer Lady Gaga, considering the latter as her muse. In fact, the celebrity would dictate what to do to her, through her tweets (sent to nearly 25 million of people on Twitter) but also through her songs (If you know her lyrics… this is not very reassuring!).
Ok. I admit that my definitions are sad or rather scary but as far as I’m concerned I’ve got different mentors. For example, my former managers at AXA Corporate Solutions are mentors belonging to my professional life. There are also other persons that I don’t personally know but who deeply inspire me such as Steve Jobs (No. I’m not an Apple addict!) or even Mireille Guiliano (CEO of Veuve Clicquot in the U.S.). On a personal level, my Parents and some of my Friends are real mentors to me.
But the real question is “What do these people bring to me? »
- Advice, a certain vision of things
- A stronger motivation than any goal medal
- And to speak more vulgarly, sometimes a good kick in the ass to get me back on track.
But beyond that, they opened my eyes. They taught me what passion really is, giving new meaning to my life. When I am with one of them I feel like invincible. Everything becomes possible. A little bit such as this song “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough”. It sounds good, doesn’t it? That’s how I would describe my mentors.
Some of you will probably say that “my mentorship” is somewhat misleading or utopian.
It’s true that my definition of a mentor is quite similar to that of the idol. But could you tell me how you would accept to have a mentor, to let him/her guide you and to trust in this person, without a touch of idealism?