You do not have to look far before seeing the evidence of leadership failure in many nations across the world. From deteriorating value systems to corruption, poverty, and the list goes on and on. The absence of worthy role model figures that the younger generation could look up to and learn from is a major factor responsible for poor governance, leadership failure by the political class, family and religion heads and other myriads of socio-economic problems bedevilling the world.

Mentoring in this context can be thought of as the transfer of wisdom from a wise and trusted counsellor, normally in a leadership position, who helps to guide another person to become a successful leader. Leadership and mentoring are inseparable and it is shocking that some people in leadership positions do not embrace or believe in mentoring. Even some who believe in mentoring are not intentional about it. According to a research published by PDI Ninth House, it was discovered that as leaders move up the organization, their ability to develop others decreased — even though they readily recognize its necessity at every level. This why we have knowledge and experience gap which is responsible for lack of sustainability and continuity of initiatives that could lead to growth and development.

Leadership is all about service; influencing people to become better. The focus is rather about those being led. And the greatest metric for the achievement of a leader is the growth and development of those being led. The great privilege of leadership carries with it an even greater responsibility; the obligation of service. Once a person assumes a leadership role, they automatically inherit the responsibility for the care, well-being, and overall stewardship of those they lead. Some may refer to the aforementioned demands as the burdens of leadership, but they are the true primary benefits of leadership.

Mentoring is a vital element of a leader’s job description. A leader should help people develop to the best of their ability thereby reaching their full potential. Leadership is not an easy task because it is life moulding; this why all successful organizations and nations need to create a culture where the acquisition, development, implementation, and transfer of skills and knowledge are highly valued. This type of culture simply cannot exist where the practice of mentoring is not a top-down initiative. Leaders must not only embrace mentoring, but they must also become its champion by building their mentoring process on trust, mutual commitment, living by example and choosing mentees who are deserving of their time.

Have you heard the quote –“Success without a successor is a failure”? What does it mean to you? No matter how ‘great’ an achievement is, without sustainability and continuity, all that is accomplished crumbles and falls like a pack of cards. The only way to achieve true success is to raise leaders that will sustain and build on initial progress achieved by their predecessors. A leader who has not raised at least another leader cannot be referred to as a successful leader and cannot leave behind an enduring legacy. To avoid leadership failure, mentorship must be embraced and deliberately practised.

© Mr. Mentormophosis

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