There is no one way to become a sales or marketing leader. Talk to other chief sales officers or chief marketing officers about how they got to where they are today, and you will hear a variety of fascinating stories about the experiences they had. You surely have your own unique story.
While every leader’s story differs, there often is a shared element within: mentors — the people who believed in them, advocated for them and entrusted them with an opportunity.
Think back to the people who helped shape your identity, your potential and your unique career path. I’m sure one, if not many, come to mind and bring a smile to your face.
Without these people, these relationships, you would not be where you are today.
It is easy as a leader to find reasons to avoid mentoring.
Mentorship is akin to being a younger person’s trusted advisor, there when they need you, with wisdom and direction, and that requires one of your most valuable resources: time.
It is a commitment. And it is a selfless commitment at that.
You will not get paid to be a mentor. You will not get a promotion. You will not get recognition per se.
But mentorship is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your career.
By taking all that you have learned and imparting it on others, you achieve a level of success money or titles cannot fulfill. You get to be courtside to watch a person’s life change and watch the trajectory of their career shift upwards. You make a connection with another human being, and that is really what everything boils down to.
Plus, beyond the satisfaction for doing good, as you impart these insights onto the next generation, you may often find yourself learning new things or understanding past things better.
Mentorship can take many shapes and capacities. There is no one “great” way to provide encouragement, direction and wisdom.
I want to leave you with this quote from the late Steve Jobs:
“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.”
Help make the people around you better. Help make the leaders of tomorrow and welcome mentorship when it comes calling.