How To Assemble Your Personal Dream Team
Everyone can use a mentor. As it turns out, we could all use five mentors to guide us through life. The best mentors can help us define and express our inner calling but rarely can one person give you everything you need to grow.
In this short list, we have identified the five kinds of people you should have in your corner. You probably already know them and it’s possible for one person to cover two or more categories so use this list as both a guide and a nudge to deepen your bond with them.
Mentor 1: The Master Of Craft
If you know you want to be the best in your field, whether it’s the greatest editor, footballer or entrepreneur, ask yourself, ‘who are the most iconic figures in that area?’. This person can function as your personal Jedi master, someone who’s accumulated their wisdom through years of experience and who can provide insight into your industry and fine-tuning your skills. Turn to this person when you need advice about launching a new initiative or brainstorming where you should work next. They should help you identify, realise and hone your strengths towards the closest state of perfection as possible.
Mentor 2: The Champion Of Your Cause
This mentor is someone who will talk you up to others and it’s important to have one of these in your current workplace. These are people who are advocates and who have your back. But they’re more than just boosters, often they can be connectors too, introducing you to useful people in your industry.
Mentor 3: The Copilot
Another name for this type: Your best work bud. The copilot is the colleague who can talk you through projects, advise you in navigating the personalities at your company, and listen to you vent over coffee. This kind of mentoring relationship is best when it’s equally reciprocal. You are peers committed to supporting each other, collaborating with each other, and holding each other accountable. And when you have a copilot, both the quality of your work and your engagement level improve.”
Mentor 4: The Anchor
This person doesn’t have to work in your industry, in fact, it could be a friend or family member. While your champion supports you to achieve specific career goals, your anchor is a confidante and a sounding board. We’re all going to hit speed bumps and go through uncertainty in life, so we need someone who can give us a psychological lift and help us see light through the cracks during challenging times. Because the anchor is keeping your overall best interests in mind, they can be particularly insightful when it comes to setting priorities, achieving work-life balance, and not losing sight of your values.
Mentor 5: The Reverse Mentor
When we say the word ‘mentor,’ we often conjure up the image of an older person or teacher, but the counterpoint is as important. Pay attention to learning from the people you’re mentoring, even though they may have fewer years in the workplace than you. Talking to them can give you the opportunity to collect feedback on your leadership style, engage with the younger generation, and keep your perspectives fresh and relevant.
Mentorship is a two-way street, a relationship between humans and not a transaction. So don’t just march up to people and ask them to advise you. Take the time to develop genuine connections with those you admire, and assist them whenever you can.