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Leadership ExperienceI recently had the opportunity to travel to India for both business and pleasure. While there, I had the chance to observe a very rich culture and varying differences from the way that things are done in the United States. These differences were seen in the food, in the level of customer service, the ratio of women to men in the work place, and most notably in driving habits and traffic patterns.

While observing the numerous motorbikes, motorcycles, or ‘two wheelers’ as I heard them called, it amazed me at the level of comfort displayed in its use as a primary form of transportation. When I saw the family above driving past, I thought how this father was giving his daughter the opportunity to experience leading the family as she is positioned in the front with an unobstructed view. This led to the thought that he was mentoring her and providing an opportunity for her to obtain leadership experience.

In today’s corporate environment, executives, like this father, should invest time mentoring junior resources to acquire leadership experience. In my opinion, mentorship of junior resources offers the following benefits:

  1. Increased Confidence – Mentees get the opportunity to overcome many fears associated with making mistakes by working with a mentor. Having someone to ‘bounce’ ideas off of can really accelerate an individual’s decision making process and increase the decision making confidence
  2. Knowledge Transfer – Working as a mentor allows the manager to impart wisdom into the junior resource. Much of what is learned in our society is done so through storytelling and mentoring is the perfect vehicle for sharing those contextual stories which provide insight into leadership experience.
  3. Growth and Development – One of the best parts about mentoring is that the growth and development is mutually beneficial to both the mentor and the mentee. The mentee of course gets the benefit of the wisdom, but the mentor gets to improve interpersonal communication skills as well as increased opportunities for time management.
  4. Sustainability in Leadership Practices – When the formula for success works within an organization, implementing a mentor program can really facilitate the creation of a system where leadership experience is disseminated to junior resources. This will help secure the organization’s future and increase the opportunity for longevity in a dominant market position.
  5. Leadership Experience – By far, the biggest benefit of a mentor program is the leadership experience your junior resources are able to obtain under the guidance and protection of more senior managers.

Are you mentoring your junior resources? Like the father in the picture, are you allowing them to experience the view from the driver’s seat? Contact Coach Clinton to discuss how your organization can create a mentor program to give your junior resources leadership experience.