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The Gift of Mentoring




I am called on to respond to questions regarding leadership and mentoring on the Quora website. I wanted to share those questions and responses with you on a regular basis. Here is the first installment:

Q: Are you big on mentorship?

A: Yes I am. I have seen my own growth through the “gift of mentoring” and I have seen the growth of others through deeper, richer mentoring relationships. The business value of mentoring has been well documented. We must also remember the personal growth that comes from a deeper, richer mentoring experience. All of which are life changing experiences.

Q: How do I get great mentors?

A: There are mentors, great mentors and then extraordinary mentors. To understand what you want you need to understand what each can bring:


We have all had a mentor in our life at some time point. It could have been a family member, a teacher, someone in the workplace or someone that had been assigned to mentor us as part of a corporate mentorship program. Our mentor was a highly capable person that provided us with the answers to all our questions. There was a sense that they wanted to do more but did not have all the tools to be able to do so. When crunched for time a mentor will sometime lose sight of the journey and their role in guiding the person they are spending time with.

Great Mentor:

A great mentor is someone that you immediately think about when asked who your mentor is. They navigate effectively and efficiently through the mentoring process to guide and encourage the person they are spending time with to success. They have a good understanding of the concepts and are able to apply those concepts in a mentoring arrangement. They have had some formal training and take pride in their ability to continue to learn. They embrace mentoring and see it as a means to help people and organizations learn and grow. They see mentoring as a way of life.

Extraordinary Mentor:

An extraordinary mentor is the one person that we all seek to become “our” mentor. They have embraced effective mentoring and the mentoring concepts as a way of life. They are typically someone that has had formal training and is certified as a competent mentor. Their client base spans the corporate world, private sector and entrepreneurial space. They demonstrate that industry knowledge is a nice to have – not a need to have as they are comfortable working cross industry. They are humble and use story telling/story sharing as a means to share their experiences. They mentor in person and remotely using technology as a communication medium. They are a student of the mentoring process and strive to learn and grow as much as the people they are mentoring. They create that extraordinary mentoring experience.

Q: How does one become a paid mentor?

A: This is a question that I get quite often. A lot of people feel that mentoring should be free. I provide a blend of paid and free and most times it depends on ability to pay. My philosophy is that I would never leave anyone on the island by them-self.

I have gone through a training process that has resulted in being recognized as an International Certified Mentor. I am currently taking that certification to a higher level that is based on competence.

What I have found is that by having a certification I am more inclined to get opportunities that I might have not had because of the training and certification. I also offer instruction on mentoring that can result in certification by an independent body so I see not only what is taking place with my practice but also others.

To sum all this up for you is to become a paid mentor I would recommend taking some formal training. If you want to take that to another level then seek out a mentor certification. If you have any questions regarding any of this please feel free to reach out to me.

Doug Lawrence