Why Every Leader Should Have A Mentor

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In 1966, fresh out of school, Michael Bloomberg was hired to work as a trader at Salomon Brothers & Hutzler. The managing partner, William Salomon, became Bloomberg’s lifelong mentor. In a commemorative op-ed published a few years ago upon Salomon’s passing, Bloomberg mused on the valuable business lessons Salomon had taught him and his colleagues.

Bloomberg wrote: “I learned more about management from Billy than I did at Harvard, and the company I started with three ex-Salomon guys is built on those lessons.” Today, Michael Bloomberg is worth about $51 billion. He is one of the wealthiest people on earth, thanks in part to having had a great mentor.

Bloomberg isn’t the only successful leader who has had an influential mentor. Steve Jobs credited Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, and Mike Markkula, an early Apple investor and board member, for helping him during critical periods in Apple’s history.

There are a number of ways that mentorship can benefit one’s career and leadership skills. As I have grown my own company, Owlmetrics, mentors have proved invaluable throughout the ups and downs. Here are a few of the key reasons why leaders should use mentorship to improve personally and professionally.

Accelerate Your Learning Curve

The most successful businesses are able to find shortcuts that spark growth and allow for fast scaling. PayPal was able to do this when they offered new users a financial incentive to use the platform by depositing $20 into new users’ accounts when they connected a credit card to PayPal.

As a result of this shortcut, the company grew a few percent each day for months. The early employees of PayPal were able to form other successful companies like Tesla, Yelp and YouTube thanks to their ability to mentor co-founders and employees to success.

Gaining access to a mentor who has this kind of insider knowledge on how to build a company while avoiding mistakes can help you achieve impressive business results.

Create A Support System

Being a leader can be challenging, stressful and lonely. After all, should something go wrong inside a…