Leaders should have at least two mentors. The obvious mentor is a
person or a group of people you want to emulate. They come in a variety
of forms: a teacher, the Chairman of the Board, a think-tank, or brain trust,
however, they all have the same mission, “to advise or train or encourage”
based on their experiences. This is usually a person you admire.
Most successful people have mentors. For instance, Warren Buffett is a
mentor to musical phenom Jay Z and other business leaders world-wide.
Motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins’ mentor is a fellow motivational
speaker and author, Jim Rohn. Michael Jordan and Oprah have both
confessed to mentoring Tiger Woods. Ben Carson, MD, and author, gives
credit to his mother for mentoring him, and according to The Hall of
Mentors, Pope Benedict XVI considers Pope John Paul his mentor.
The other type of mentor is equally as important, yet you may not choose
to sit down and talk to them. Instead, this mentor is strictly someone you
pay very close attention to, because they will teach you exactly what NOT
to do. This is the person you want to avoid becoming.
Ineffective mentors may have been masterful guides at teaching others
the pitfalls to avoid, connecting them to other leaders and resources,
helping them to chart their course to higher heights and so on, but those
days are gone. They may even have an undeniable prowess in an area of
interest to you, as well as significant financial means. However, they are
jaded and lack enthusiasm for the success of others. Their good points
are overshadowed by these less attractive characteristics. Poor examples
of mentor-ship are: self-centeredness, greed, superiority, and petulance.
No one wants to follow this type of person, or at least they shouldn't. But
don’t disregard them totally; there is much to learn from them - just at a