Joseph and I were very fortunate to attend a breakfast this morning focused on Mentoring Chicago's Youth for Success. The breakfast was put on by four exemplary organizations in terms of providing mentorship in Chicago: Midtown Educational Foundation, Union League Club of Chicago, Illinois Mentoring Partnership, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago.
The breakfast featured an outstanding panel moderated by Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Laura Washington, which included:
- Margie Morris, Executive Director, Illinois Mentoring Partnership
- Glenn Wilke, Executive Director, Midtown Educational Foundation
- Art Mollenhauer, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago
- Terry Hendrickson, President, ULC Boys & Girls Club Foundation
- Maria Barrios, PepsiCo, Volunteer Mentor
- Adolfo Hernandez, Deputy Director of the Mayor's Office of Public Engagement
Panelists focused on the impact the business and civic community can have in Chicago, and reflected on their personal experiences with mentoring and being mentored, which was awesome to hear.
With a lot of the discussion focused on increasing the volume of mentorship in Chicago, we were able to ask a question during the Q&A about the quality of these relationships. We asked what each of the panelists believes is the most important characteristics of the most successful mentoring relationships. The answers: Consistency, Commitment, and Passion. We couldn't agree more, and these are all related. Exhibiting these qualities in anything you do will produce 220 results!
The Takeaway: Successful people always had some form of mentorship that helped them get to where they are. Some relationships are very formal, some are informally parents, guardians, teachers, coaches, peers, siblings, and other family members.
We all have busy schedules, but it is all about prioritizing your time and your life. One of our favorite Tim Ferriss quotes is "The key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities" (Tim also happens to be one of our favorite people and an informal mentor). Make mentoring a priority in your life. The impact you can have on someone's life is incredible.
- Reflect on who your mentors have been in your life and how they helped you get to where you are today.
- Who are you a mentor to right now? Or if you're not, who can you be a mentor to starting today and how can you help them similarly to how your mentor helped you?
- How can you increase the quality of that relationship? Ask students about their goals and find a way to get them started in the right direction.
- Block off time on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to at least have some level of communication with your mentee, and strive to see them in person at least 1x per month, if not more often.