Gone are the days when “leader” generally meant a guy in a grey suit with a briefcase. These days a leader might be a jeans and tennis shoe wearing 20...
“Leaders should be visible, accessible, and approachable, and never stop learning.” – Richard Branson
“All leaders are learners. The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.” – Rick Warren
Constant learning is required for growth in any area of our lives, but if we want to remain relevant as leaders, focused attention on consuming new knowledge is imperative. In fact, most people in a leadership role have an innate thirst for knowledge.
But, there is so much to know and so much information literally at our fingertips all the time. It’s often difficult to know what to focus on. We can spend our days swimming in a sea of information, but still not know what questions to ask to get the answers we need the most.
Besides that, it’s not enough to just know stuff. Leadership isn’t only about having the right information. It’s also about implementation. And that’s where a lot of us can get stuck. How many times have you said something like…
“I’ve been meaning to do that.” OR “I had this idea several months ago, but just haven’t found the time to get started.” OR “I think I know what I need to do, but have no idea how to do it.”
Knowing what to focus on, what areas of growth are the most important for our goals and situation, and creating a strategy for implementation that includes accountability are just a few reasons why having a mentor is invaluable.
No one person, of course, has all the answers.
At different stages of our careers, we require different guidance and advice. That’s the purpose of The Center for Credit Union Leadership’s Mentor Program – connecting emerging Credit Union leaders with a mentor that will meet them where they are now and help them get to where they want to go.
The program mentors are seasoned professionals who generously agree to share their knowledge, wisdom, experience, insight, and counsel. Drawing on their years of experience, they are able to understand your challenges from an objective perspective and offer strategies and ideas to help you move forward and excel.
Through face-to-face meetings and a structured Leadership Development Plan, the program is designed to help leaders develop their leadership philosophy and determine the actions that will help them act in accordance with those values and ideas. The process, provided by the Center, examines the candidate’s values, assumptions, and beliefs to create developmental goals for the mentor to guide the candidate towards.
The Mentor Relationship is Valuable for Both the Mentor and the Mentored.
Being a mentor is, of course, largely about giving back. But, it’s also one of the best ways to sharpen your skills and learn new things.
“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” – Yogi Bhajan
Acting as a mentor is also one of the most proactive things you can do to advance your own career goals. According to a Sun Microsystems study, mentors are 20% more likely to get a raise and SIX times more likely to get promoted.
Having a mentor helps you develop and advance your career in a way that you just can’t do on your own. Ask most any successful person and they will tell you that they would not have accomplished as much without the guidance and support of at least one mentor along the way.
But, finding a mentor can be challenging.
The Center for Credit Union Leadership can help.
If you are looking for a mentor that can help you build your leadership brand and get to the next level, click here to find out how the Center can help you find the right mentor.
If you are ready to share your skills and experience with emerging leaders who are eager to grow and make an impact, click here to apply to become one of the Center’s mentors.