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Who’s Got your Back: Mentors

Even Stars Need Coaches!

Become a leader that you'd be proud to follow. Reach out today for a complimentary Wayfinders Discovery call to learn how.

What is mentoring? Mentors and sponsors are crucial to your career progression across industries. We all benefit when a senior colleague shows us the ropes and provides us with new opportunities.

Who you know matters – industry-wide, about 80 percent of job openings are filled via word-of-mouth.

A 2015 McKinsey & Company survey showed that the majority of men and women believe their professional network “has directly helped them obtain jobs, get promoted, and have access to key assignments and opportunities.” Women with mentors are more likely to get promoted. As women seeking leadership positions, we need to seek out male mentors and sponsors to rise through the ranks. Unfortunately, the sad fact is that women get less of the mentorship and sponsorship that opens doors.

Women are 24% less likely than men to get advice from senior leadership.

Whether this is driven by sexism or because men (perhaps unconsciously) gravitate toward helping other men and the result is that women miss out. And, after the #metoo movement, the number of men who are uncomfortable mentoring women has more than tripled.

If fewer men mentor women, fewer women will rise to leadership – so we need to re-engage the good guys.

Mentors and sponsors serve different purposes, but everyone’s end goal is the same — to support you in achieving your goals. Not only should sponsors and mentors believe in your potential, but they should champion your successes and open doors for your next big career move.

Mentors are advisors from whom you can seek guidance as you shape your goals and ambitions.

Mentors typically are in the same industry as their mentees, but are not necessarily in the same company. MBA graduates who had a mentor before starting their first post-MBA job received greater compensation and a higher-level position. A mentor offers empathy, serves as a sounding board, and provides a shoulder to cry on.

The best mentor relationships begin as friendships.

Mentors and mentees share a similar lifeview and have similar values and priorities.  When looking for a mentor, seek out someone in your field who you admire because of their business acumen, negotiating prowess, and gravitas. Someone who has achieved a level of success you aspire to.

Your mentor will see the potential in you even when you are doubting yourself.

A mentor’s primary goal is to guide you to success by allowing you to learn from their triumphs and failures so you duplicate the former while avoiding the latter.

Mentors can build your self-esteem and provide a sounding board – but they’re not your ticket to the top.

Tell us, what is mentoring to you?

Even Stars Need Coaches!

Become a leader that you'd be proud to follow. Reach out today for a complimentary Wayfinders Discovery call to learn how.

Sarah-Nell Walsh

Sarah-Nell Walsh is an executive coach, former attorney, and Founder of Wayfinders, LLC. Equal parts big-hearted cheerleader and bold challenger, she works with ambitious professionals, executives, and lawyers who want to perform at the top of their game. Wayfinders has a business development coach for lawyers, a leadership coach for executives, and a transition coach for professionals. We work with all our clients to make their desired impact on their organizations, their families, and the world.

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