Over the years I’ve been asked several times to mentor an entrepreneur. Assuming there’s a good personality fit, I always start with a quick meeting at my office or over lunch. My goal is to get a better understanding of the entrepreneur’s past, present, and desired future. My tendency is to be a problem solver such that I gather as much information as possible and then start looking for solutions, which isn’t always the best course of action.
Here are a few thoughts on making a mentor relationship work:
- Design a rhythm of interaction (e.g. a bi-monthly lunch or quarterly phone call)
- Outline the goals and metrics both parties care about
- Consider overall commitment period (e.g. let’s try this for a year and re-evaluate)
- Look for coordinated mentoring arrangements in a professional group (e.g. YPO has a program with mentors from WPO)
The best mentor relationships happen when both parties are actively engaged and adding value. Mentor relationships take time and effort to be most valuable.
What else? What are some other thoughts on making a mentor relationship work?