The Transition to Mentoring
Many of our Sage leaders, whether emerging or senior, reflect on the transition between being “take charge” and “doing it myself” leaders to a more collaborative and mentor-based role. One of our Emerging Sage leaders offers the following reflection:
When I was younger, I was very driven and results oriented. I had to lead by example, and perfection was the goal. Now I view my leadership role more as mentor and coach, giving others the skills to move-up and move on and better themselves and not so much focus on myself. Helping others grow into those roles, not having it be only myself.
Another of our Sage leaders identified the transition primarily in terms of not taking ownership for everything herself (keeping the “monkey” off her back):
I’ve gotten better at not over-committing by learning when to say “no.” I also balance my time better than I did in the past and have more self-acceptance about wherever I’m at in my learning process. And, I’m finding more ways to let go of responsibilities and create the opportunity for other people to step forward. When just I take the lead, it doesn’t create much space for other people to step-up. I also now recognize the ego trip I get from being the one person who does it all. I’m trying to give more from my heart, rather than from a place of wanting recognition.
Mentoring with All Levels and at All Levels in the Organization
We found in reviewing the interviews conducted with our Sage leaders that mentorship occurs at many levels in an organization and can be engaged with the young, the middle-aged, and even those men and women who are older than ourselves. Here is someone who enjoys mentoring the young:
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My principal civic role here is in mentoring young people. There is one young woman in particular whose mother had been killed in an automobile crash. I helped to mentor her through her grieving process and our relationship continues to this day. I have also been involved in two other civic roles: as a mobilizer to bring about social change and as motivator to urge people toward public good and away from self-interest.