Mentoring is something that I haven’t thought to write about until recently and after a few discussions with others, have come to understand that this is something our industry needs more of. Mentoring from either an organizational standpoint or individual standpoint can be very powerful for learning and growth for someone you take an interest in thus increasing the probability for positive outcomes in their career path.
Many of you reading can recall someone who, at some point in your career, has had a significant influence on you and may have shaped or determined your course bringing you to where you are today. I certainly can say there have been a few individuals I have come to know over the past twelve years that have encouraged me to do well or help me overcome something I wasn’t totally grasping.
Recently, however, I can certainly say I consider myself having a mentor that I can trust to give me honest responses and opinions on anything I care to discuss and encourages me to try something new or different that I may have trouble taking that first step in doing. Do you have anyone like that in your life or are you that type of person to someone else? Do you know how powerful it can be on someone? I am here to say that these experiences, if you haven’t experienced it from either side, are very beneficial and rewarding to both individuals involved.
Now, I am here to ask, if mentoring has so many positive aspects to it, why do we not see it happen more in our industry? Is it because we are taught to be competitive from day one in the business? Yes, you may be the superstar your entire career, but at what point do we decide to “refill” the pipeline to continue the success of our dealership or industry? It needs to happen at some point. Anyone else agree?
Here are a few questions I would like to ask from both an individual and organizational standpoint and encourage your responses. I understand and appreciate the benefit of having a mentor and look to get others thinking alike:
I believe mentoring serves the needs of both mentors and protégés in different ways and will thrive better when left to flexible terms rather than being process driven or mandated if such program exists within the dealership. Let the relationship cultivate on its own, giving it the room to breath and allowing the time for the information transferred to process. I certainly experience the benefit first hand and hope to see mentoring grow in our industry as it is in important in the development of our employees and can have a significant influence on the course of their careers.
Mentoring, when the right conditions are present, can be one of the most powerful mechanisms in propelling a career forward.
Now I want to ask, is there someone you have thought about taking under your wing to help ensure their success? Did you act on it?