Leaders have a lot of expectations placed upon them when they take the role. They have a team to develop, projects to deliver, strategies to define and keeping their stakeholders happy. What about the other expectations that are not always so obvious? Yesterday’s post focused on some of these expectations in terms of body language and behavior that leaders need to focus on. Another unwritten expectation is that you should help, support and guide others. How can you share what you know and your experiences with others? How are you paying it forward for those who are just starting out, at lower levels in the organization or are stuck and not sure how to proceed?
Do you remember what it was like when you were just starting out in your career? Did you have some supportive leaders who gave you advice and mentored you? You have had some great experiences and lessons learned that could be shared. What were the things that taught you the most, how did you learn what you know and how could you share these stories with others?
For those who are in an organization, there may be formal or informal mentoring programs that you can get involved in. If there isn’t one, you could be a sponsor and start one up. Your company may also have a diversity council or employee resource group that is looking for mentors to support their members. Talk to your Human Resources group or look for ways to get involved mentoring others in your own function or area of the organization.
If you are looking to support those in your community, there are also a number of great volunteer organizations that are always looking for mentors. Being able to mentor a high school or college student on how to get their first job, write a resume, how to interview or just navigate the job market is an easy way to give back. There are also a large number of organizations that focus on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields or other industry groups need help to support those who want to succeed may but not know how.
Mentoring others and sharing your knowledge is an amazing way to help others succeed. Find a way to give back and see what a difference it makes in your life. You will be mentoring them and sharing your stories to help them grow and develop faster. The unexpected benefit is what you will learn and what it will teach you if you are open and listen. Learn from what they say and find ways to incorporate these learnings for yourself. These conversations will no longer be viewed as an expectation, but will become something that you look forward to doing more of when you see how it changes you and your leadership.