For many of us, the dawn of a New Year is a time to reflect on the year that was and set goals for the New Year. In 2016, I encourage you to make one of your new goals to become a mentor, if you are not already.
My definition of a mentor is someone who inspires another person to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.
Here are 5 reasons why you should be a mentor in 2016:
1. You can change someone’s world.
For people who are less experienced than you, when you share your knowledge and experiences you can truly change the world for that person. One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is to help them find their why and spark their imagination of what is possible.
By imparting that “this is a possibility, and it is a possibility for YOU,” you can open up entirely new paths in the life of the person you mentor.
If you think this seems overly grand or fluffy, it is not. I have experienced this multiple times myself as both a mentee and a mentor. When you give people new ideas and open doors for them, it truly can change their life.
So this is me, telling you — you can change the world for someone.
2. You learn stuff & your career benefits
When you become a mentor you learn things about how things work at different levels within your organisation and in different locations. This provides you with a greater understanding of your business and the additional context can only make you smarter, you get new insight about how other parts of the business work, and what people in those teams care about.
Mentoring someone more junior than you gives you the chance to learn things that make you a better manager and leader and help you better understand your constituents. In turn you begin building a broader network of supporters within the organisation which helps you become more valuable as a leader.
3. Mentoring spurs innovation and creativity
The best source of innovation in any organisation are the people working within the organisation - those closest to the customer or closest to the product or service being delivered. Mentoring provides an opportunity for you to build relationships with these people and glean insights into what they find challenging and frustrating and what opportunities there are to challenge the process and do things differently. It keeps you in touch with what really matters to your customers and your people.
4. You feel like you did something that matters
Many weeks or even months can go by in a leadership role that leave you wondering, “What did I accomplish?”
So often, leaders tell me that they wish their job had more meaning. So if this is you and you sometimes feel like a cog in a heartless machine, help someone else. You will feel something and your work will have much greater meaning.
5. Everyone benefits
Being the optimist that I am, I love to think that if everyone who reads this blog, all mentored one additional person in 2016, that heaps of great things would come of it, and something in the world would be at least a little better for those people being mentored. I think that mentoring has the power to make the world a better place for all of us.
So seek out opportunities to mentor in 2016. It will enrich your life, change the lives of others and make the world a better place.
Ben Lancken is Learning & Organisational Development Manager at TFE Hotels.
TFE Hotels (Toga Far East Hotels) currently operates nearly 70 strategically located hotels in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. TFE Hotels’ brands include: Adina Apartment Hotels, Medina Serviced Apartments, Rendezvous Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels and Hotel Kurrajong Canberra.