6 Key Traits of Successful Mentors

If you have to be sold on mentoring, skip this video and read this article instead “The Huge Importance of Mentors in Developing Top Talent.” For everyone else with a mentoring program and anyone considering formalizing one, check out this article “Mentoring Programs Take Work to Start, But the Payoff Is Great,” then hear what Quinton James has to say about what it takes to be a successful mentor.

A former top recruiter who left to co-found True Mentors, James says his organization, which pairs successful entrepreneurs and leaders with up and comers, looks for six traits in the mentors they sin up. These are:

  • Transparency
  • Long term vision
  • Inspirational communication
  • Accountability
  • Sharing experiences
  • Servant leadership.

Speaking to a Chicago DisruptHR audience a few months back, James explains the meaning of each, and how they make the relationship between mentor and mentee valuable. Take his point about sharing, or shared, experiences: “Are you teaching from results or are you teaching from theory? We are around a lot of well-meaning people who give us opinionated information and they never did what they are talking about.”

Most important of the six traits is a servant leadership approach. “Do you have somebody out there that’s honestly adding value to you, giving you connections?” says James, illustrating the importance of having a mentor who is a connector by pointing to his own mentor.

Whether you have a mentorship program in place, want to start one or want to be mentored or be a mentor, hear what James has to say about the traits necessary to do it right.

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