I’m not sure when, but lately it feels like we have stopped looking to mentor others to succeed and become our successors. It was something I tried to do in the past, share my knowledge, and help those I worked with to better themselves. I also was vocal about this basic concept with other managers which always seemed to fall on deaf ears.
So many feel threatened if someone knows how to do something you do. Like they are going to take over your job. And to that I say, if you are good at what you do and add value, then you have nothing to fear.
So why are we not helping others become better?
When working on teams I feel like there is this unspoken competition to do better than the person next to you. And yes, competition can be healthy, but we should be helping lift others up as well.
I’ve always strived to teach and help those that I work with. I have quite a few years of experience which is filled with learning from mistakes and a strong desire to grow. So why not bestow that knowledge on those that I have led or worked with?
Where has the mentoring gone?
I realize that it might feel time-consuming, but there are different ways to be a mentor. You can set aside time on a scheduled basis to meet and discuss things, or you can be one indirectly by helping when you see the need.
This is something I have been working on lately. One of the reasons I accepted the new position I took at the beginning of this year was to help someone grow that used be on my digital design team. Yes, now they are “managing” me, but I get to share the knowledge and skills I have with them and help them grow as a leader. I don’t know how long I’ll stay where I am, but I’m doing my best to correct what wasn’t able to do enough in my prior position.
I have also been consulting with another team member I used to lead as they take the next steps in their career. It doesn’t take much to do all of this. Even just listening and sharing some thoughts is all that is needed.
Without successors, where will your business be?
As I previously mentioned, without mentoring our successors, what will happen to your business? Think about that for a minute. If you have your leadership making sure they are shaping and forming the next batch of leaders for your company, you’ll spend less time replacing people and save money!
You never know what will happen to those that are leading your company, this is a crazy world. They could decide they want a change in scenery and find a new job or some other reason — forbid it is for any health reasons.
My point is, you can’t predict what will happen tomorrow, so make sure that if something does come up, you have people willing and able to step up and take the lead with the skills needed.
If you are looking to mentor or find mentorship, I suggest checking out the ADPList.