Don’t Go It Alone
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Have you ever heard someone say that they are a self-made person? Perhaps you have heard someone refer to another person as a self-made person. The problem is that if they are self-made, there isn’t much there, because we cannot reach our potential without the help of others. Even if we have great self-awareness, we need mentors or coaches to help us think through whatever is discovered. Have you ever taken inventory of those who mentored you in your life?
Last year I wrote a post titled They Made Such a Difference. I reflected on three mentors who dramatically impacted my life; my Dad, Donald F. Dew, and John Maxwell. These three men are all giants to me. They added value to my life, asking nothing in return. Even though they didn’t ask for it, they deserved something from me. They deserved to have me follow through on what they shared with me and expected me to teach others also. As the ancient text reads, “The same, commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
My Dad expected me to take what he taught, live it out in my life, and share that with others. I owed it to him to raise my children with the same love and faithfulness with which I was raised. When I thanked Don for his years of mentoring, he replied, “You made is so easy. You were always ready to learn.” Don realized that when he taught me something, I acted on it. John Maxwell taught me that we are created to be rivers, not reservoirs. He stated, “God will only give to you what He knows will flow through you.” John went on to add, “You can’t give what you don’t have, so keep growing.”
If you are privileged to have a mentor, you need to make sure you are worthy of being mentored. When you meet, do you come prepared with questions? Think through what you would like to learn. Listen carefully, ask clarifying questions, and then act on what you learned. Great mentors are investing their most precious resource in you, their time. They are choosing to invest this scarce and limited resource in you. While they may not be asking for it, you owe them a great return on their investment.
If you are privileged to have a mentor, you need to be a mentor for someone else. Look for those around you who have earned the opportunity to be mentored. Dave Ramsey said it best when he said, “Look for someone hungry, humble, and smart.” When you find that person, they are worthy of a mentor. As I wrote last week, invite them to the table. Be willing to give of yourself to help develop the giftedness in others.
If you would like to learn more about what we have learned regarding mentoring, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 142 of The Next Page podcast as we share a few tips from John’s book and our own experiences.