My favorite definition of a wizard is a person with a power or effect that appears magical by its capacity to transform.
Having a great mentor is like having your very own wizard.
In literature and in the movies, the wizard was always old, bearded and a man! Conjure up the wizard in
Karate Kid, Lion King, and Star Wars. The best example of a great Mentor is in The Wizard of Oz, where the Wizard himself embodies all the qualities of a truly great mentor.
Come with me down the yellow brick road as I outline the Top Seven reasons a mentor can help you find your Oz.
7. Automatic accountability.
It is natural that a few days before a meeting with your mentor, you start addressing pending matters. Mentors don’t even have to ask about things you promised to do. You take care of these things because you want to be ready.
6. Questions that you may never ask yourself.
Sometimes we put off asking questions just because, well, because we can. When you postpone asking the hard questions you are not solving any problems, you just avoid the pain. Your mentor may not always sound like Glinda the good witch. Your mentor should have no problem asking those questions and actually prompt you to start doing something about them.
5. Discover the “real” problem or root cause.
Sometimes we address symptoms rather than attack or even seek the real problems or cause. Time and again you can identify the “real” problem, which in turn solves the symptoms that you first set out to address.
4. Get an alternate perspective.
You may have other avenues where you can get alternate perspectives on a particular topic or issue. However, when a mentor provides it, there is a dose of responsibility. In other words, your mentor has a higher stake in the outcome than your peers or friends do.
3. Get into the “thinking” habit.
Every hour you spend with your mentor, you are thinking. Rather than our regular “thinking on the go,” mentoring forces you to slow down and really think. Thinking is hard work that is often under-rated and undervalued.
2. See what your audience or market sees.
A mentor from outside of your company and industry will catapult you faster and further. You will benefit from a source that does not drink the same kool aid. You just can’t just click your ruby slippers together three times and see the bigger picture.
And the Number 1 Reason to Seek a mentor is:
1. Distinguish yourself in the marketplace.
Unless you distinguish yourself, you will be part of the commodity crowd. Distinguishing yourself is a journey and not a destination. What is special today will no longer be special tomorrow. Your mentor can act as a catalyst here to help you rise above quickly.
The Wizard of Oz himself was the GREATEST example of a mentor.
He stayed behind the scenes, he knew his strengths,
“I’m a very good man. I’m just a very bad wizard.”
And he set high expectations: “Bring me the broomstick of the Witch of the West!”
Read more posts by Leslie Ungar here.
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