The Importance of Mentoring

by Joe Lavelle on December 1, 2009

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In my new book Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail, I include a lot of information about being a mentor in your professional environment and the importance of mentoring in any organization.  To quote myself from the pages of my book, “In my opinion, coaching and mentoring are one of the primary reasons that God put us on this Earth.”

Providing a mentor to a new employee helps with the on-the-job learning curve and works to establish loyalty between the employee and your business.  Also, mentoring is a great way to groom the next generation of leadership for the organization.  Show me a company that places value on mentors and professional coaches and I will show you a company that has a much better chance for long-term success than their competitors who do not put any focus on building those collegial relationships.

It should be said that the mentors who affect success in the workplace don’t necessarily have to be in the office with you.  If your parents always provided good examples of people who worked hard, took pride in themselves, and valued their relationships with others, they were great mentors for your eventual career!  Maybe you had a coach, a teacher, or a neighbor who taught you important lessons that you continue to use today.  Here are a few possible examples:

1. the school principal who always dressed in a suit and greeted students at the door with a handshake and a smile

2. the neighborhood grocer who remembered what your mom’s name every time she entered his store

3. the football star who came to your community center and exercised with the kids every month

My mentors:

  • Joe Casper taught my how to insist on ROI in every situation
  • Mervin Calverley taught me how to tell stories
  • Dave Dimond taught me to quit fighting the system and start “working the system”
  • Kate Lavelle (my wife) taught me the value of the personal touch
  • Ray Lavelle (my Dad) taught me that honesty IS ALWAYS the best policy

Who was your mentor?  What lessons did you learn from this person and how has the relationship affected you?  I hope you will share with us and affirm the importance of relationships in any line of work that you choose to pursue.

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