Mentoring 101

I was recently sitting in a leadership training course in South Africa and a young leader asked me, “What does it really look like to have a mentor?”  He didn’t ask me what it meant to “be” a mentor, he asked what it was like to “have” one.

I realize that many leaders have never had a significant mentor in their life.  This is tragic!  No wonder leaders burn out and quit.  They don’t have anyone speaking into their life.  They don’t have anyone that is asking them the tough questions.  They don’t have anyone that they feel really cares about them?

Mentoring isn’t a tough thing.  It’s actually pretty simple.

Throughout the month we’ll be writing from different perspectives on what this looks like to each of us.

Here are some simple things to start with:

*Mentoring is simply a deep, committed relationship where one person is intentionally teaching and leading the other one.

*Mentoring happens in the course of everyday life and mentoring doesn’t just focus on aspects of your job or your role in leadership, but on your whole life.

*Mentoring is intentional. You have to take the time to develop the relationship, deepen trust between you and figure out what you need to focus on.

*Mentoring looks different for every person, there is no “one way” to do it.  It can happen from a distance, it can happen over many years or even over the course of days.  It can focus on one aspect of life or many.  It’s different everytime.

*EVERYONE needs a mentor; someone to look up to, someone to model your life after, someone to learn from.  EVERYONE!

Keep checking these pages and we’ll keep adding tip sheets, thoughts, ideas and practical help to you.

Share your stories with us!  Let us know what you’ve learned from a mentor or from being a mentors!



Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 31 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. To learn more about Russ, visit: Write directly to Russ at: twitter: leadwithruss, leadermundial

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