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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

Mentors Are Imperative – A Quick Guide to Finding Yours


construction contractors need reliable mentors


Note: If you looked at the image at the top of this page and wondered what in the world seashells have to do with finding a mentor, read on. You’ll see the connection, I promise.

 

Sometimes, mentors pop into your life—like Mary Poppins did for Jane and Michael Banks. You must seek them out at other times, as Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando did when they each attended sessions with Stella Adler.

 

Mentors Explained Through Story

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could be a fly on the wall when someone is being mentored? You could see what types of things they discuss, how the mentor relates to the mentee, how long it takes to provide the needed information, and so on. Alas, the fly-on-the-wall scenario isn’t easily attainable. But there is another way to get that information. It is through story. And it is as easy as reading a book or watching a movie.

 

You’ll find some examples of mentors in action in these fictional stories.

  

From Star Wars, we can see how Obi-Wan Kenobi approaches mentoring. He tells his mentee, “Be mindful of your thoughts, Anakin; they betray you.”

 

Mary Poppins brings her A-game when she imparts this wisdom to her small charges, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job’s a game!”

 

Mufasa from The Lion King tells the young prince, “Being brave doesn’t mean you have to go looking for trouble.”

 

The movie Dead Poets Society features a mentor, John Keating, who imparts much to his students, including “There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.”

 

In The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi conducts his mentoring sessions slowly and carefully. Here’s one thing he tells Daniel: “Here Are Two Rules Of Miyagi-Ryu Karate. Rule Number One: Karate For Defense Only. Rule Number Two—First Learn Rule Number One!”

 

In The Hobbit, the mentor, Gandalf, is seeking a mentee. He says, “I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.” Gandalf mentors many in this story and in The Lord of the Rings. He can be heard saying, “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” And, “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”

 

Mentors Explained Through Example

When seeing examples, it is often easier to understand an idea or concept. Although you can’t sit in on the mentoring action, it is helpful to know that some famous people have or had mentors to help them along the way.

 

PushFar provides an article titled 15 Famous Mentoring Relationships,  and some of the names on the list may surprise you. (Okay, the folks who compiled the list cheat a little by adding one fictional relationship – from Harry Potter, but the others are real people who had real mentoring relationships.) Look it over to add to your knowledge of mentoring possibilities.

 

Mentors Come in Many Forms

There are times when mentors and mentees formally agree on the part each plays in their relationship. It might even include a signed document describing the objectives, the process, and the means to fulfill the agreement. But that is not the only course to be taken.

 

Look around, and you’ll see many mentor-mentee examples in your own life and the lives of others. Your parents, a particular uncle, that one great instructor, a former boss, or a more mature colleague are all examples of people who likely cared enough and took the time to pour instruction, knowledge, or wisdom into your life.

 

Some examples of people who may fulfill the mentor role include:

  • Business coaches.

  • Paid advisors – (BTW, The Profit Constructors falls in this category.)

  • Friends.

  • Spiritual advisors.

  • Fellow construction business owners.

 

Less formal mentors may come from people you’ve never met personally. Consider:

  • Books – including biographies.

  • Podcast hosts and guests.

  • Blog post writers.

  • Convention speakers.

  • Documentaries about leaders or people who’ve overcome obstacles.

 

What Do You Want From A Mentor?

The short answer is “advice.”

 

The longer answer is you want mentors who:

  • Have relevant expertise or knowledge.

  • Maintain a respectful attitude.

  • Can listen.

  • Will take your values and input into account.

  • Are able to give honest feedback.

  • Provide guidance and encouragement.

  • Offer new ways to think about problems and opportunities.

  • Uphold a perspective of continuous improvement.

  • Can share learnings from past successes and failures.

  • Have mentors of their own.

 

Breaking it down even further, you want construction business mentors who:

  • Have tribal knowledge.

  • Instill industry wisdom.

  • Understand the nuances of the industry.

  • Have gained insights that come with experience.

  • Comprehend areas of business you’re lacking.

  • Recommend books, training, or other professional development tools.

  • Sometimes leaves you to deal with challenges independently – increasing your aptitude.

  • May provide access to opportunities you would not be able to get on your own. Mentors are often an entry portal for meeting people who are part of valuable professional networks.


Identifying Your Mentors

From parents to paid mentoring relationships, you’ve had people who stood in the gap, who’ve had your best interests in mind, and who have been mentoring you in one way or another (even from a distance – like authors.)

 

But if you’ve identified a need and are willing to seek advice, finding a right-now, up-close, and personal mentor starts with your attitude – your mindset. For example, look for value in services you’re willing to pay for. Another example is to have the mental outlook that mentors abound – look for them wherever you are. Go out of your way to build relationships. For example, you can join your local trade association, attend industry conferences, or volunteer for a cause you believe in.

 

The Seashell-Mentor Connection: You can’t stay at home and expect to find seashells. And, if you go to the beach and never look for seashells, you’re not likely to find them either. But if you go to the beach with the mindset of finding seashells, your chances are much better for bringing home a bowl full. Yes, like seashells, mentors can be found when you go and when you look for them.  

 

 

Ambitious Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:

 

  • Clients and customers

  • Employees and subcontractors

  • Vendors and service providers

  • Governmental entities

 

Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:

 

  • Remain informed

  • Avoid hassles

  • Reduce risks

  • Be future-ready

 

Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735

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