People do not succeed alone. Successful people build support teams to help advise them in uncertain times, be there in difficult times, and celebrate in successful times. Strong support teams provide a sounding board, affirmation, course correction when needed, advice, and above all, love. Without strong relationships to provide perspective, it is very easy to lose our way.
To have great mentors, you have to recruit them. Many people often do not reach out to mentors because they’re afraid or uncomfortable asking for something. Mentors enjoy giving back because they know they would not have gotten to where they are without the help of their own mentors. And it feels good to help. Think of the last time a friend asked you for your advice, opinion, or help solving a problem. Didn’t it feel good to be thought of and trusted? To know your opinion is valued? It brings mentors happiness to help.
Start thinking of whom you’d include in each category. Write down as many as you can, and then start looking for mentors in areas that you need to fill:.
Potential Support Needs:
- Feedback or Brutal Truth
- Sounding Board
- Reality Check
- Staying Grounded
- Validation or Approval
- Love/Emotional Support
- Tough Love
- Building Faith or Inspiration
- Career Advice
- Legal or Financial Advice
- Mental Health
You can think through the following as potential sources:
- Seniors or Mentors
- Wise People (find and recruit these people!!)
- Significant Other
Your journey to your goals is likely to take many unexpected turns. Life is full of career changes, ethical dilemmas, failures, and relationship issues, to name a few. Getting back on track alone is incredibly difficult. It is important to build your support team long before there is a crisis in your life. That way, you can trust that people will be available to help when you most need them.
– Learnings from Bill George’s True North