Everyone knows the importance of having a mentor.
We all know that the right mentor can teach you, inspire you, and make it easy for you both in your professional and personal lives. A mentor can train you on what to do and, most importantly, what to avoid. A mentor shows you the way and leads you to be the best.
But a common misconception is that it is hard to find mentors. Most people believe that you have to be close to someone in senior management, related to a senior executive, or be in an elite club. They think that they are outsiders with no access to the right mentors.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Mentors are everywhere.
You have to widen your perspective and not limit it to office corridors or country clubs. Every day, you run into mentors. When you see someone that inspires you, emulate them. That’s an opportunity for you to grow and learn.
You must constantly be on the lookout for inspiration. Every morning, afternoon, and evening, mentors appear. In the newspaper, on the internet, or in the evening news. Somebody is doing something that can teach you a lot. “It’s a learning process from the moment you wake up,” Jack once said.
Everywhere is an opportunity, and anyone’s leadership can be worth emulating. Be open to finding inspiration from people who may cross your path and inspire you. So, keep your eyes open for inspiring individuals everywhere.
You don’t even have to meet or communicate with them in person. You don’t even have to get any special favor from them. Mentorship need not be a one-on-one process. What they are doing is for everyone to see.
But do remember that not everyone has all the qualities nicely stitched together. You see pieces that teach you. It is your job to collect as many pieces as possible. Mentorship may be spread across several individuals. That will also make the process refreshing and exciting.
If you are looking for a mentor in your organization, Jack would have told you not to have just one mentor. Being tied to just one person is dangerous as it can be limiting and ineffective. That person may not be well-liked. They may be considered an opposing force. You may be oblivious to it because of tunnel vision and only see what you like to see.
By the time you realize the truth, it may be too late. Your mentor may be on their way out. Or, they may have inspired you in all the wrong ways. As Jack used to say, “You don’t ride one horse all the way.”
Wake up with the thought, who will inspire me today? Who do I wish to be? What piece of goodness shall I see in others? How can I incorporate that into my life? And, how can I one day be an individual that inspires others?