Every great leader and successful entrepreneur had at least one mentor along their journey. That’s because mentorship is vital to the birth of great leaders and entrepreneurs. Effective mentors share a number of common characteristics that make them particularly skilled at inspiring, educating, and guiding talent. Although generally experts in their fields, mentor’s most valuable lesson to their mentees is how our mentality and attitude is the most important factor in our success. Here are four character traits that make for a great mentor.
Mentorship—like leadership—is impossible without integrity. Why? Because only a person of strong principles can inspire respect and awe in others. Strong principles lead to solid ethics; a person of integrity’s words will match their actions, and their actions will create great results. This spans every area of business and life.
Great mentors are authentically themselves. They are individuals that are committed to always bettering themselves. They innately understand that they have no outside competition; that they are their own worthiest opponent. This leads them to embrace any weaknesses so they can work towards improving them. By doing this, they inspire others to know and better themselves.
It requires patience for mentors to share knowledge and invest in strengthening their teams. They understand that developing others’ skills takes investment and time but are confident enough to trust that it will pay off in the end.
Arguably the most vital characteristic of a mentor is empathy. They take time to understand people’s needs, be it their customers, partners, or employees. By understanding their concerns, they not only understand how to solve their problems, but how to inspire them. This makes them amazing communicators, and good communication skills are the bedrock of great mentorship.
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