Mentoring is based on the premise that there’s at least one useful, bridgeable gap of experience or expertise between the two people in the relationship. With this comes the responsibility of making sure that the progress is multiple than normal course of journey. But, when there’s progress, it becomes that much difficult to show whether it was truly due to mentoring or was it natural if you are on the path of success.
True test of mentoring comes, when we are stuck.
It happens all the time with open roundtables. We neither have a background of the founder, nor fully aware of their current business situation. Last week, we had an interesting case – a seasoned engineer in his early fifties, ventured into a new business with a set of three friends from his earlier team. All are familiar to each other – their capabilities, behaviour and work culture. They came with their issue – unable to take their product to field trial. With signed up customers, lined up distributors and great review of the product by experts, there was nothing that seemed stopped them. But they were feeling stuck.
Careful examination of their status and diligent observation of their readiness threw open the most important issue – it was just that fear of failure wading in their minds. They had managed large businesses for bigger corporates and never launched anything of their own craft any time before. They wanted just an assurance from someone who had successfully failed in new ventures and still managed to sail through to upstream. A small push from inside.
Reminded of the saying “Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way” that drove many managers to think same, but act differently to get better results.
Here, getting out of their own way was very important.
When we feel stuck, it is mostly the case – We should watch and just get out of our own way. Progress follows…