Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement XV. The Enactment of Generativity Two: Mentoring Individuals and Organizations

XV. The Enactment of Generativity Two: Mentoring Individuals and Organizations

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This fifth of the 5 “M’s” often seems to involve leading by example, as well as providing a compelling vision that excites other people and leads them to collaboration:

I’m good at motivating and helping others to have passion in what they are doing. If you lose motivation and passion, everything gets lost in details and turns into one big frustrating mess. So, I never lose sight of what I am doing. Everything is tied together in my personality.

This motivationally oriented Sage leader speaks about being a “cheerleader,” especially when the “going gets tough”:

My strongest role is as a motivator—whether getting volunteers working with the girls, understanding why this work is so important, or empathizing when the work gets tough. I play this role with the board as well, walking a fine line between leader and cheerleader. Board members need to have a good grasp of the issues, but also not panic when those issues seem overwhelming.

A final insight we offer from our Sage interviews brings us back to the fundamental role played by appreciation in all aspects of generativity, including Generativity Two motivation. We motivate by helping our colleagues to focus on their own strengths and appreciate them:

Motivator is an important piece, and probably the strongest tool I use in my advocacy work. There’s a reason that people choose to work touching the lives of children. In engaging them, I help them to examine their core beliefs and mental models as a way to increase their effectiveness. The important part is doing this without destroying their sense of self-worth. It is all a work in progress, everything from education to child welfare to how we feed our kids. It’s unfolding, and we’re learning all of the time. Being positive is one of my strengths. I’m always reframing and don’t even know that I’m doing it, and I think that helps people to look at possibilities.

Blending the Five M’s

We have treated the five M’s as distinct roles that are all related to the broader process of Generativity Two and have suggested that all interweave in some manner with the foundational process of mentoring. The actual enactment of Generativity Two, however, often involves interplay among the five Ms. At the very least, our Sage leaders often acknowledge that they play all five generative roles:

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