In mentoring from the top of the organization, one can often provide protection for the younger or less experienced person being mentored:
I admire leaders who protect their staff and take hits for them. The guy I worked for in Santa Cruz always looked so beat-up, and what he took on was just amazing. Whatever got filtered down to us, he would fight the battle. And when he couldn’t fight the whole battle, he would somehow find a way. That’s hard to do sometimes, because the easiest thing to do is avoid fighting the battle.
Generativity Two and the Four Other M’s
Through our interviewing of both Emerging and Senior Sage leaders we encouraged a reflection on not only their generative role as mentors, but also the ways in which Generativity Two shows up as mediating, monitoring, motivating, and mobilizing. How do these other M’s compliment the generative role of mentoring? We turn first to the role of mediator.
This second of the five M’s has much to do with conflict. In a complex civic environment, there is room for diverse and passionately held opinions about many issues. We begin with a story provided by one of our Sage leaders about a direct role he played as mediator in a conflict-filled situation:
We had a board member who was abusing the office staff. I met with him and asked that he stop. He thought about it and decided to resign from the board, although he is still supporting the organization. That was a success. He was a major contributor, and I was very much afraid he would stop, but he hasn’t. There are also financial issues and the selection of a new Artistic Director. Another role I have played is driving home the fact that we are in a serious recession, that donations and ticket sales are going to be down, and that we must stop spending more each year than the year before. And now we are facing the need to search for a new Executive Director, and it is probable that I will serve on the search committee.
Through our study of Sage leaders, we concluded that the Generativity Two Sage leader who can mediate conflict and help mentor other people to become more effective and collaborative problem-solvers provides an invaluable service to her community (Quehl and Bergquist, 2012).Download Article 1K Club