The Leader as Mentor

 Often the words leader and mentor are used together. By embracing mentoring within a leadership role, it helps to improve performance, cultures and engagement within a team and the wider organisation

What is a mentor?

A mentor is usually experienced and knowledgeable in a particular field for which they can advise or instruct a less experienced mentee. Advice and problem solving is encouraged, with an emphasis on the individual taking the action, whilst the mentor takes more of a passive role, encouraging the mentee to make decisions, enabling growth, learning and development along the way. It is not uncommon for a mentor to also be a leader themselves.


Building Connections

If a leader in the team is taking on a mentor role, it helps to build more connections. You may be mentoring a leader who is within your team, or perhaps they may be within another team in the organisation, at the same level or a level below. Whatever the situation, it helps to build connections and relationships, not only between the mentor and other team member, but throughout the wider organisation. You may be able to advise or pair up team members who might not have already known each other, but who could be mutually beneficial to each other in working towards objectives.


Alignment within Goals

If as a leader you are mentoring someone, you can help guide them and help them to understand what the organisation is trying to do on a wider scale. If an individual has a better understanding of their own role within the organsiation as a whole, it not only helps to inform them of their importance in their own role, but also gives the opportunity to align their objectives with the larger goals of the business.


Insight for Informed Decision Making

As you as a leader take on a mentoring role, it gives you the opportunity to hear other perspectives on how your mentee’s world works, how the organisation works from their viewpoint, which in turn will give you a better insight from which to base your own decisions. From conversations, you can learn to understand why people are doing what they are doing, and whether certain changes might be beneficial in certain areas of the business to increase productivity, communication, processes or other areas.


By undertaking a mentor role, it allows you the opportunity to perpetuate positive culture and practices as well as shedding light on any areas that could be improved upon. Communication is so important, in order to ensure that individuals are understand their role within an organisation and at the same time, understand the wider objectives of which they are a part of.

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