Circles of Change:Conversations with Dr. Zara Larsen on Change Leadership and Career Fulfillment
February 3, 2008 “Mentorship, Sponsorship and All the Flavors In Between” Guest:Dr. Kathy Kram, Boston University
Given the pace of change and the steep learning curves that everyone faces in their jobs today, mentoring and coaching are more important than ever before.
In our life times, we will spend more time in transition than in periods of stability, and the concept of “boundaryless careers” require us to have connections across organizations and industries.
Relationships are a tremendous source of learning, support, sense of wellbeing, and of course, career advancement.
Instead of search for THE right mentor, it is critical to create a developmental network or personal board of directors----that handful of individuals who take a personal interest in your development.
Self-awareness is a pre-condition for effective mentoring relationships:what do you need from others?What do you have to offer others?How do you go about initiating new relationships?How are your social skills (e.g. listening, self-disclosing, handling conflict, etc.?
Overall point:We need a new mindset on mentoring----finding the right mentor is no longer a fruitful strategy.Instead, one needs to know one self well---your values, talents, skills, and preferences----and then build a network of relationships that can help you identify and move in to positions in which you will flourish and find alignment.
Additional Thoughts from Dr. Zara Larsen:
Mentorship is not a one-way association – two way relationship.The more you give, the more you get.Teacher as student … student as teacher.
Mentorship may not be sponsorship – the campaigner/one that opens doors for you.Can be more than a coach – listener, sounding board, offer advice, support, ideas. Vested in your progress.
Most likely will not be just one person – consider “a council or board” that can and will change over time.“One size does not fit all”.Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.
Need not be restricted to geography – think diverse, wide, across professions, functions, locations, companies, industries, and generations.
We all retain the responsibility and accountability to manage our own expectations and choices.When someone offers advice, he is likely 50% speaking to himself to confirm success or rethink choices (failures and learnings).
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008