A great mentor is much like a great coach. They can help you do things you didn’t think you could do on your own. I think it is absolutely essential in leadership to have quality leaders in your life. I don’t have many mentors that I’d say I sit with on a regular basis and help coach me, but I have many people in my life that I’ve gained great wisdom from.
A mentor can give you that little bit of extra courage you need to do something big. They help pick you up after you mess up, and help you to learn from it. They call you when you’re headed the wrong way and get you back on the path you want to be on. I’ve had mentors do each of these for me when I needed it. The first story that comes to mind is when I was in Masters Commission. We were serving at an outreach in Dallas, and many of our staff were speaking and introducing a skit. I didn’t get a specific job at the outreach, so I just followed around my Outreach Director, Tesa. I watched as our staff members got up to speak and watched each of them go. My director Tesa, then watched me watching and asked me if I wanted to go next. I wasn’t prepared for anything like that. I hadn’t spoken in front of a large group I didn’t know before. I’d never even participated in an outreach like this. She took a risk on me. I got up and I did okay, not great, not horrible. But it gave me a boost of confidence that now helps me speak to students each week. Yeah, I still get nervous every time I speak, but that’s okay, because I’ve learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
The power of a mentor is a power that can take you to a higher level in whatever you do. Mentors push, challenge, stretch, and comfort those they are helping. If you don’t have a mentor, I urge you to find one. On the same token, I believe you should be mentoring someone else as well. We always have people in our life we can learn from, and people in our life we can pour into. We just have to open our eyes enough to see them.