The Culture of Mentorship

A very cool and educational event took place this weekend during UBC Alumni Weekend. UBC Career Services and Alumni Affairs celebrated 10 years of Tri-Mentoring at the school. Here is a superawesome video that highlights some of the best components of this unique and innovative Tri-Mentoring program:

I just love this. And I also have a few mentors in my life, which makes me feel lucky and also just a tiny bit wiser. Whether it’s at UBC, your university, college, or high school, or as part of your job, or as a meaningful component of your neighbourhood, town or region, think about finding a mentor – or mentee – and help to grow your personal and professional community in fun new ways.

If you’re not too sure about the value of mentorship, well, I’ve got some rationale for your you. Here are three reasons for you – yes, you – to find or be a mentor:

1. Been there, done that. Are you facing a seemingly unsolveable problem? Do you have a tough decision to make? Not sure what class to take or whether to do an internship? Well, a mentor has probably been through these very things and would be happy to share their experiences with you.

2. With age comes wisdom. Hey, young people, I think that, like me, you’re great and have a lot to offer. But, let’s face it, there are just things that you haven’t seen yet. Further, the longer that someone has been in the game, well, the more connections they have to said game. Mentors are veteran players who have seen potential applied to the

3. Telling it like it is. Your friends and even your family might be too close to you to really say what you need to hear. Mentors have a license to do just that, even if it can sting a little. And the flip-side here is that, when you do awesome things, your mentor will celebrate such successes and make you feel just fantastic about your ideas/choices/results.

Personally, the greatest idea that one of my mentors, Brian, passed along to me is the term Respected Rebel. As soon as I heard this term it resonated in the best possible way. Respected Rebels are naturally innovative, outside the box thinkers who take risks and/or pitch ideas that probably upset the status quo; however, as soon as the boss makes up her mind or unfurls her plan, a real Respected Rebel falls in line and supports the heck out of the team. As a bit of a troublemaker – albeit a productive and respectful one – I appreciated how Brian helped me work this concept into my personal brand and my value proposition.

After all, it’s great to have a mentor!

5 thoughts on “The Culture of Mentorship

  1. Nice post and thanks for sharing the 10 year UBC tri-mentoring video. I have the priviledge of being a UBC CPSC Mentor. I was able to be at the lunch celebrating 10 years of tri-mentoring this past weekend and share in the fabulous success of the program.

    Your blog post is written largely from the viewpoint of a mentee. I would encourage others to consider being mentors. It is an opportunity to share your experience with others, helping them to think see and think of different ideas, possibilities, and opportunities.

    Equally important is that having to respond to a mentee, their issues, dreams, and hopes, causes you to consider your own career, where you are in life, and what you want to do next. It is a true win-win situation where giving your time and experience as a mentor turns around and gives something back to you. I encourage you to give it a try.

  2. Thanks very much for this, David. You’re absolutely right that then benefits of being a mentor are left out.

    I actually had three tips for prospective mentors, too, but I lost the internet on the weekend and had to cobble the post back together over lunch time. I’ll throw them up when I’m back online.

    Thanks again for the comment. You’re absolutely right about mentorship being a win-win situation!

    - JCH

  3. Hi David.

    As previously stated, here are my points about the value of being a mentor:

    “And, if you’re wondering about whether or not you should be a mentor, here are three reasons to think about taking on a mentee:

    1. Make people better. Your experiences and the stories that explain them will help to prepare the leaders of tomorrow today. And that’s a beautiful thing.

    2. Get a new perspective. The kids these days, they’ve got fancy, iPad-oriented ways of looking at things. Whether it’s their medium or their message, your mentee will offer-up some fresh new takes on life, the universe and everything.

    3. Reputation expansion. Mentees who have great experiences share such positive stories. Whether you just want to give back or want to give back and have the goal of growing your – or your company’s – reputation with schools (like UBC) and potential clients/consumers/employees, mentorship is a great way to create a buzz.”

    Thanks again for the comment!

  4. Hi I would love to Have a mentor as cool and hard as you. I feel I have sooo much work to do as a Woman and would love to know what it takes to reach my drames and live the life I am suppose to live. PLEASE HELP!!!

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