2 Min Read
Mentorship is a natural process of teaching and learning that we've evolved to respond to. It's no wonder that it has such profound effects on us when we're truly receptive to it. It's greatest value is that it shows us how to chase our purpose and tell our story with conviction.
The impact of chasing our purpose
We have to realise the impact that chasing our purpose has on those around us, because it’s much more than we think.
The experience of Mentorship Specialist, Best-Selling Author and Speaker, Shawn Blanchard, shows us the power of positive mentorship in changing the life of a young and lost young man.
Shawn learned how to cut cocaine at the age of 11 from his older brother. He also served as his mother’s getaway driver around the state while she shoplifted – it's obvious that, in many ways, he was set up to 'fail' in life. But someone stepped in and changed all of that…
“I remember it like it was yesterday, she believed in me, she understood my significant emotional events in my life, I was vulnerable and she was able to reach me, my mind was open so she was able to teach me, I was receptive so she was able to mould me.”
Shawn talks about the significance of having access to his high school councillor, and how it radically changed the trajectory of his life.
The two main types of mentorship
You've most likely been mentored before, you just haven't realised it when it's happened. There are two types of mentorship that you can seek out:
1. Informal mentorship
You get to choose from your a la carte menu of all the best influences from those around you and from the channels that you pay attention to. When you see something that's positive, you can decide to add it to your life. You can take everything from books, movies, media and friends to build up your informal mentorship experience.
2. Formal mentorship
Formal mentorship has many benefits, but the most important is the added accountability that you get from your mentor. Your mentor serves as a model that you can follow, they give you an actionable example and provide tailored feedback specifically for your circumstance.
Formal mentorship can take the form of sponsorship, directorship and models – and it’s a relationship that has to be built on trust.
This type of mentorship is the hardest to find, but it's the most valuable for your long-term success in life, career and business – because it's centred around you as a person.
Mentees eventually become mentors
The best thing about great mentors is that they eventually turn their mentees into mentors themselves. Mentorship creates a ripple effect that not only serves us but society at large.
"Mentorship is just like playing catch – our mentors throw the ball and we have to go get it and throw it back. It’s a training ground that uses repetition to enforce our growing expertise. It shapes our consciousness to show us that we can achieve great things if we are willing and receptive." – Shawn Blanchard
What great mentors do for us
Mentorship is practical. It’s where both parties show up to give and learn. It’s about relationships, and that means that it’s fundamentally about trust. It means that both parties take their time seriously and are coming together to put their energy into building a better future. A mentor-mentee relationship focussed on growth and action – in this way, both parties benefit, together.
Here’s what a mentor does:
- They understand your significant emotional events
- They reach you in a way that acknowledges that you can do more
- They teach you what they know and what they've learnt from their experiences
- They help mould you into what you could become
Mentorship creates consciousness – and it’s the only way to truly appreciate the bigger picture. 90% of people who are mentored achieve greater success and eventually grow to become mentors for others. The beauty of mentorship lies in the huge reciprocity and gratitude that mentees feel when they are pushed to achieve beyond what they thought they could.
It’s no wonder that mentorship will change the world, for the better.