Answer - until you Die.

Who needs mentorship?
Answer - everyone, especially people in leadership/management positions.

Too often humans feel they achieve a level in their career, then they become content, complacent and feel they now have the knowledge and experience to plateau and give direction and manage others.

They then tend to focus on doing work in accordance to what they know best and feel most comfortable doing.  Next thing you know, even more coasting occurs and attitudes such as "don't rock the boat - if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it - it worked before so it will work again".

What these types of people are missing is that every 1-2 years, somewhere in the world, what they know (as an expert) has changed and they are becoming out of date.  New approaches and new learnings are available, but this will require growth, challenge, uncertainty and more intellectual work.  It also requires a collaborative, open door mentality, since new things will come from outside your group, from outside your city, from outside your country!

So how can a professional maintain growth and ensure it is properly aligned with all the other variables and constraints that they have to deal with on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?

One amazing and simple tool that can address this is:  Mentorship.

I am not talking getting a few people around and asking for their thoughts...... that is more about being a friend and often the truth will never come out in case feelings get hurt and often only exciting topics are discussed.

I am talking about a formalized, structured form of mentorship.

Formal mentorship should include:
- objectives (why)
- trusting stakeholders (who will you work with, who will see/discuss the mentorship)
- clarity on the role of the mentor and mentee
- accountability of the mentor and mentee
- confidentiality and confidence in privacy (is there a process)
- pure interest in the mentee (the mentor must have your best intentions in mind, way too often, people mentor and give feedback but also make themselves feel better or they simply focus on discussing mistakes and weaknesses, I have often found managers have low confidence and good intention is there, but the pure vested interest into helping the mentee is not fully there)
- plans and milestones (does not have to be single all encompassing, but smaller sub plans around smaller milestones, you are on a path and a marathon, not a sprint)
- documentation and records (collect, monitor, track, trend, optimize)
- quantifiable tools and techniques (the how) in order to support the mentee
- regular meetings (booked out as far as the plan states (e.g. weekly for 6 mths, biweekly or monthly for 1 year)
- structured agendas
- be flexible to what works for both the mentor and mentee (the road ahead will not be totally clear sailing, there should be fog, curves, obstacles, be open to adapt

Mentorship programs are often available in every city.  If you cannot find one, simply go ask someone that you trust and feel there can be synergies.  The mentee must feel comfortable and initiate the process. Also, one will be very surprised, the mentor gains much in this relationship.  Mentors (like all humans) often like to share successes that they have had and also share their perspectives and opinions.

Final point, mentors do not have all the info at hand when giving their opinions, thus regard it as that - an opinion.  They will never know 100%, but they will try to give their opinion based on the information that they have received at that time.

Attached below is a message from a great mentorship program locally run in SK.

The Raj Manek Mentorship Program is currently expanding our social media outreach. We’ll be posting thoughtful content regarding mentorship, leadership, productivity, strategy and other business-themed topics, as well as information about upcoming Program events, seminars and webinars on our LinkedIn Company Page. Please go to the following link directed to our LinkedIn Company Page, and click the follow button in the upper right-hand corner:

A few other links:

ted talks- The importance of mentors

Million Women Mentors - Business Case for Workplace Mentoring

Harvard Business Review - CEOs need mentors too