Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, was quoted saying, “give enough people what they want, and you will eventually get what you want”
We believe that having a mentor is a key component to personal and professional success. Mentors are able to share from their experiences (both good and bad) to help us make better decisions and avoid costly missteps.
Sometimes a mentoring relationship is formal (perhaps part of a structured program), and sometimes it is informal. Sometimes it is ongoing, and often it's a one-time discussion. Read about the differences here.
As someone who is asked to be a mentor on a regular basis, I have some insights on what you need to consider before you ask someone to mentor you.
Launch Youniversity was born on the Atlanta Beltline on May 21, 2015. I remember because it was my birthday and I was spending the morning with Jeff and Shane to talk about our goals and development plans.
In these conversations, we often talked about opportunities to invest in others. As we walked off our breakfast, I suggested we find a way to make a difference in a way that would scale. We sensed that some might find this valuable, but we really had no idea how to go about it. So, we decided to take an innovation process that Shane and I had used at Chick-fil-A and apply it to this opportunity. Here's how it played out…
You got the courage to ask someone to mentor you, and they agreed.
But now, you might have fears of wasting their time, or having awkward patches of silence, or not getting anything out of the conversation. Those fears are normal, but you can put them to rest by preparing for meeting with your mentor by coming up with a plan to maximize your time and theirs.
Over the past year on The Launch Youniversity Podcast we've had some incredible conversations with intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. We've talked to business professionals in every stage of life and career... from leaders in Fortune 500 companies to people who just launched their first side business. Today, we've rounded up the top 20 pieces of advice from our conversations with our guests.
Around 2008, Chick-fil-A decided to launch an innovative practice. We wanted to learn how to do it a responsible manner, so we began visiting companies that were thought leaders in their respective industries.
It became clear that we needed a new process that could be replicated and taught to folks throughout our organization. This process could help us launch new menu items, service procedures, restaurant designs and forward-thinking ideas in virtually every area of the business.
Leaders who are more emotionally aware will always outpace those who aren’t.
Every time a leader walks into the room they bring their leadership climate with them. Every leader has an emotional climate. Just in the way that a weather climate dictates the forecast, a leader’s emotional climate dictates the their team's forecast. The leader is the thermostat, they set the temperature. The team is the thermometer, they reflect the climate.
Considering a new role within your organization? If so, take some time to perform a "readiness" audit before you charge ahead. Here are 8 things you need to do:
1. Assess your personal brand.
The assessment may be similar to a scouting report for an athlete. What are you known for? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a reputation for managing projects well, for leading teams well, or for having deep subject matter expertise? Is your personal brand strong enough to merit a change at this time? If not, your focus needs to be on strengthening your brand first.
I received some great advice early in my career. I will never forget the conversation. I was fortunate to be traveling with our Vice President of Operations. We happened to be good friends and when you combine that with a two day trip, we were given the opportunity to engage in lots of conversations, one of which was how to get promoted. I simply asked him his thoughts on how to get promoted and I'll never forget the answer he gave me. I have shared his advice with most of the folks I have had the opportunity to lead over the years. He stated that there were three things that anyone needed to do to get a promoted:
Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People said:
"Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”
From the small but effective teamwork of a basketball team, to the interdependent collaboration of a massive business to achieve a common goal... examples of teamwork and community are everywhere. The true value of this collaboration is sometimes missed. It's easy to forget, particularly in the busyness of launching something new, that we need teamwork and community to succeed and even more importantly, sustain that success.