Unlock Relationships that Transform Leadership

I knew too much when I was younger. Now that I’m older, I have the same problem. But, the thing that most expands leadership is the belief that we don’t know.

Those who think they know are worse off than those who know they don’t.

locked gate


Everyone who’s afraid to look dumb, remains dumb.

We learn and grow in community.

Mentors grow us most.

But, know-it-all’s outgrow community.

Mentor-ready is ready to:

  1. Not-know with an open mind.
  2. Believe people, more than circumstances, change us.
  3. Have confidence, even though you don’t have all the answers.
  4. Shift strategies.
  5. Expand options.
  6. Nurture curiosity.
  7. Stop pretending you know when you don’t.


  1. Give time for reflection. Without a mentor you keep circling the same thoughts.
  2. Explore inconsistencies.
  3. Dig into priorities.
  4. Press for clarity.
  5. Instill confidence.
  6. Honor growth.

4 marks of lousy mentors:

  1. Fix rather than explore.
  2. Advise before understanding desired outcomes.
  3. Do all the talking.
  4. Act like they know.

7 keys to successful mentoring:

  1. Grow rather than fix.
  2. Control the need to tell.
  3. Aid self-exploration and discovery.
  4. Help define current situations, desired wins, and the next steps.
  5. Establish accountability.
  6. Care deeply and expect a lot.
  7. Avoid personal agendas.

7 tips:

  1. You haven’t outgrown being mentored. Humble yourself. Arrogance blocks growth.
  2. Transparency opens the door to mentoring. Share your dreams, fears, and frustrations.
  3. Have many mentors. Learn from everyone.
  4. Age doesn’t matter. Young people often teach me more than older.
  5. Short-term is fine.
  6. Mentoring is a two way street. The act of teaching is learning.
  7. Evaluate and fine-tune interactions. What types of interactions work best for you?

Bonus resource:

Manager as Mentor,” by Chip Bell and Marshall Goldsmith.

Governor Mike Leavitt on finding a mentor (1:19).

I’m gathering my thoughts on mentoring because I’ve been invited to give the keynote at a mentoring conference.

What have you found useful about mentoring?

What suggestions do you have for being a mentor?