According to executive leadership consultant Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, having an experienced colleague take you under their wing can help you clarify your long-term career goals. Along the way, you’ll also hone valuable professional skills you can take with you as you progress through your career. Connecting with a mentor who works within your organization is particularly powerful because they can share their own experiences with the company, giving you further insight into the organization’s culture and operations.
Robinson also encourages professionals to embrace the emotional benefits of a mentor-mentee relationship.
“Many employees feel like they can’t be vulnerable or share their whole selves at work,” she says. But opening yourself up to support and guidance from an experienced colleague can boost both confidence and performance.
For the Mentor
Professionals who mentor others are often more satisfied in their careers and more committed to their organizations. Studies also suggest mentors may even see a boost in their own job performance.
According to Robinson, strong mentor-mentee relationships should be mutually beneficial. Imparting your wisdom to a mentee helps them succeed, and the mere act of offering your expertise puts you in a position to examine and improve your own performance, making you a better leader in the process.
When teaching a group of Christians, I sometimes pause after making that statement because I know that too often either through our words, theology or actions, the church collectively perpetuates a different message. We communicate the expectation that some are authorized to lead through their titles or skill while others are not because of their age, class, gender or marital status. In one way or another, we articulate our beliefs about leadership.
Not only are all Christians called to lead, we are also called to lead beyond the four walls of the church. Too often, the church is guilty of compartmentalizing our kingdom mission. Pastors could lead their congregants to believe that only the work done within and for the congregation or on the mission field is “real” ministry, when, in fact, much of the work done outside of those categories is what funds that work.
People need to work. They work to meet their physical needs, to support the ministry of the church and the community, and also to influence culture and share in the lives of people who do not yet know Jesus.
Leading well and working well allows the church to impact its culture.
As we continue in this season of rest and reflection, let us contemplate the life and work of Jesus.
Jesus was a masterful leader. He was intentional. Purposeful.
When we think of his influence, and how his message continues to grow thousands of years and billions of followers later, we are in awe because he did not do the successful, popular or inspiring things. He did not seek fame. He did not lord his power over others or try to establish an empire on earth. He did not have social media or the benefits of technology.
Jesus was true to his teachings, even when it was difficult for his audience to hear:
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37).
“Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matt. 8:22).
“Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).
Simply put, Jesus did not go big. On the contrary, oftentimes when he had a large crowd or performed a miracle, he drew away for times of rest.
In those sacred moments, Jesus taught his disciples the truths about the kingdom of God, and informed them of the purpose to which they were called.