Rule number 20. Mentor to a success profile. Create a success profile that people can grow into. Mentoring is where you’re going to spend five to 10% of your time. It’s a key aspect of leadership, but we don’t do it often enough, so you need a process for it. Don’t wing it. Don’t just look at who you think is successful in organizations and say, “Mary, go talk to Jim. Jim’s great at what he does and think about mentoring.” You’re only setting yourself up for heartache.
What do I mean by that? Have a process. If you’re not mentoring yourself as a sales leader, which is your call, then make sure those who are mentoring know the guidelines, know what you’re trying to do. Make sure when they’re talking about how they see things happening, because that’s what mentoring is, right? How do I view things? How do I attack this? Why do I do certain things that I do? It’s not, what do I say? That’s called training. How do I do it? No, that’s kind of coaching. But, how I think about things. And why do I react the way I react in this situation over here? That’s more of mentoring.
You’ve got to make sure that both sides are equipped. Now, mentoring is key when it comes to relationships. It’s probably the most important thing during a mentoring relationship is trust and conviction and the fact that I like and respect you. You just can’t arbitrarily put somebody with somebody else in a mentoring relationship. It won’t work. You’ve got to make sure there is a connection there.
So here’s the thing. If you’re going to do mentoring, which you can do, then do it as part of a journey. I had that opportunity with David Sandler. He mentored me and he taught me how to play sales chess. He taught me how to think differently, how to look at things differently. And for the very first time, I looked at the world through somebody who’s been doing it for 50 years, their sunglasses, and I was only 30. He gave me a 30 years jumpstart. It was the best experience of my life and it could be for you, too, but you got to put the time up front and make sure that the payoff is on the back end. Good luck.