The Power of Great Mentorship

The Power of Great Mentorship 150 150 Edward Brzychcy

Building a business, managing change and transition in our personal and professional lives, and entrepreneurship are all difficult — they amount to some of the most challenging things that many people will attempt throughout their lives.

How do we consistently rise to meet the challenges in front of us? The answer is simple; have a mentor.

Transformation and growth can dominate our lives, and appear overwhelming, especially when things don’t go according to plan. Mentorship holds the answers to these problems.

There are two reasons to have a good mentor, ideas and accountability.

A mentor is a person who is going to keep you going, hold you accountable, and ensure that you’re doing what you said that you’re going to do. Secondly, they are there to bounce ideas around. When you’re stuck, when you need help, when you need another set of eyes to look at a problem, a mentor is there to bounce those ideas off of and find a more robust, all-inclusive, solution to the challenge that you’re facing.

This idea of mentorship resonates well because it solves the problem of how to effectively meet our most significant challenges. We cannot do it alone.
Seemingly insurmountable challenges in leadership, change, and transformation happen all the time. A recent survey published in the Harvard Business Review from VitalSmarts found that, while under pressure, managers:

  • 53% of leaders are more closed-minded and controlling than open and curious.
  • 45% are more upset and emotional than calm and in control.
  • 45% ignore or reject rather than listen or seek to understand.
  • 43% are more angry and heated than cool and collected.
  • 37% avoid or sidestep rather than be direct and unambiguous.
  • 30% are more devious and deceitful than candid and honest.
Figures from VitalSmarts –

These results are intolerable. These pressure points are the hallmarks for great success, not points to be misstepping.

I wonder, if these managers had a solid mentor by their side how much more effective they would be at overcoming their challenges.
Because we all need help, no one should undertake a great challenge alone. And we all need that space to go and bounce ideas off of, have a little accountability added into our routines, and sometimes, to go and vent that things are not well right now.

By having this space, people can:

  • Remain open and curious.
  • Stay calm, collected, and in control
  • Gain a greater understanding of their situations
  • Provide direct support and guidance to their teams
  • Feel secure in remaining candid and honest

Leaders need to do all these things. A great mentor offers the space and insights to allow it to happen.

Mentorship is the key, and every great leader, entrepreneur, or anyone who is facing change and transition should have one. It is the outliners where we see our greatest successes. We are all good at accomplishing the day-to-day. It is when things change, or the unexpected occurs when we face our most significant challenges. The fundamental truth is that we don’t know what we don’t know. Mentorship fills these gaps, educates us on what we don’t know, and gives us an outlet to create an action plan to fill these spaces. We all aspire for greatness, but the critical skill we have to develop to get there is how, and who, to ask for help.

You can find our podcast conversation on mentorship and growth with Ed Marsh on The Leadership Update Brief on C-Suite Radio.

Ed Brzychcy is former U.S. Army Infantry Staff-Sergeant with service across three combat deployments to Iraq. After his time in the military, he received his MBA from Babson College and now coaches organizational leadership and growth through his consultancy, Blue Cord Management.