In 2005, a lot of things were changing in my life that I thought I needed a mentor. I was beginning medical school and was also actively running an orphan care organization that I had started only two months prior. I wanted to be able to succeed at both.
To find a good mentor, you need to know what you are looking for. I started a list of criteria then that has evolved over the years to what I now have. I’ve learned, everybody needs a mentor. The president of the United States has many advisors. The greater your responsibilities in life, the more you need advisors, mentors, and coaches.
Below is my current list of 7 things I consider when I am looking for a mentor, coach, or advisor.
- What area do I want to grow in? It’s important to be clear on what your goal is.
- Are our worldviews or beliefs systems aligned?
- Do they have a conflict of interest?
- Do they love me and what I stand for?
- Do they have experience that is pertinent to my area of need?
- Do they have the heart and skills of effective mentoring? Talent and experience are not enough.
- Can I create a win-win relationship based on felt needs? For the relationship to flourish, I can’t simply be a taker. I must also find ways to sow into their lives so that they consider time spent with me as something they benefit from doing.
A good coach or mentor can help you reach heights that you would never be able to reach alone. However, a bad mentor or coach can cause serious havoc to your course.
Choose your mentors wisely.