Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out in your career, having a good mentor can provide enormous benefits. Particularly  with improving your leadership capabilities, mentors can help guide you along your journey. Below are 5 reasons you need a mentor to improve your leadership:

  1. They provide a clearer picture of reality – We often have difficulty seeing a clear picture of reality. When we speak to a mentor, they help us bring things into focus. Our natural tendency is to think the world is out to get us. A good mentor can help put things in perspective. This is crucial when you need to make a big decision.
  2. They have the experience -What’s more helpful than someone telling you how they think you should solve your problem? Someone who actually faced the same problem as you, and found a solution. Why not take advantage of your mentors experience and learn from that? Whenever faced with a difficult challenge where you need to make a decision, run it by a trusted mentor. Chances are, they’ve gone through something similar.
  3. They give it to you straight – A good mentor will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. It’s important not to surround ourselves with people who will only tell us what we want to hear. You need to hear the truth, even if it’s painful. Having a mentor who will give it to you straight will also help instill humility.
  4. They keep your ego in check – The enemy of good leadership is your pride and ego. As you become more successful in your career, you’ll want to start taking more credit. A good mentor will keep your ego in check by reminding you that leadership is about the success of others.
  5. They help you see through a different lens – Sometimes when dealing with a problem, we need to take a step back. When doing this, a mentor can help you think about things differently. Particularly if you spend a lot of time on an issue, a mentor can provide an outside the box idea.

If you don’t have one, I suggest asking someone to be your mentor. You can reach out to someone you admire and ask if they would be willing to meet for coffee. I’ve done this several times and to my pleasant surprise, I’ve always had a good response. I meet with my mentor, usually at Starbucks, almost weekly. Aside from receiving helpful advice, what’s better than getting caffeinated and discussing leadership?

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