Management Talk: Do you have a mentor?

In the first glance, it sounds like a ridiculous question. Of course, we all have mentors' teachers, parents, bosses, elderly people we know, some friends too, who, in many ways, qualify as mentors. It is a good thing too. Experience over a longer period or certain useful exposure does bring with it a higher amount of learning and maturity.

01 Feb 2016 | By Suresh Ramakrishnan

The question however is, do we take the pains to find a mentor? The contrary argument to this would be, when we are surrounded by so many people who act as de facto mentors, why do we need to hunt for a special one?
The following are the reasons.
Mentors are not necessarily defined by age; he or she could be half your age or even less. So, hunt for an accomplishment that is beyond the ordinary. There are lessons galore and perspectives can be an eye opener.
They urge you to have an aspiration, to give wings to your dreams and that anything is achievable and age isn’t necessarily a factor.
It is good to realise that there is always that one person better than you are. So, you have to constantly raise the bar. Accomplishments are transient and can always be improved upon. If you don’t do it, someone else will.
It keeps you on your toes. The basic tenets of achieving anything do not change - hard work, constant learning, positive attitude and being humble.
By no means can the achievement or the learning derived from our ‘default’ mentors be undermined. They all play a critical role in our growth over the years. In many cases, they may even suffice for your aspirations, but scanning the larger world may have certain surprise elements and they cannot be ignored.
So, have you started hunting for your mentor yet?
(Suresh Ramakrishnan is the publishing director at Haymarket Media India and the publisher of PrintWeek India)