Take Mentoring to the Next Level
Every great leader I’ve talked with had mentors that changed them. 26 years ago, Jeremie Kubicek’s was Hance Dilbeck. Today, Jeremie is the president and CEO of GiANT Impact and a founding partner of the GiANT Companies.
Jeremie said, “Hance was a youth leader at my church that took an interest in me. He believed I had a voice and offered to help me with my speech. I was 13.”
Jeremie explained his use of humor didn’t help his influence it hindered it. Hance wanted to take Jeremie to the next level.
Next level mentorship:
Jeremie said Hance didn’t actually mentor him. It was more of an apprenticeship.
Mentorship vs. Apprenticeship:
Mentorship is controlled by the mentee. Typically, mentees approach mentors for guidance in an area they want help. Mentees establish the topic and desired outcome.
Apprenticeship begins with mentors not mentees. You approach them saying something like, “I see an area in your life that I believe is holding you back. I believe I can help.”
I was uncomfortable when Jeremie explained the goal of apprenticeship is replicating yourself in someone else. After I thought about it, it started making sense.
If you have leadership skills, habits, attitudes, or behaviors that help you succeed, apprenticing someone means you pour what you have into another.
Jeremie isn’t an ego maniac that wants to fill the world with mini-me Kubiceks. He believes leaders empower not overpower.
Next level opportunity:
In my opinion, addressing blind spots that hold others back is one opportunity of apprenticeship.
Have you ever approached someone with an offer to help them get to their next level? What happened?
What’s important if someone wants to develop an apprentice relationship?
Jeremie’s book: Leadership is Dead: How Influence is Reviving it.
“Leadership is Dead effectively reveals that lasting power and influence stems only from a servant/leader mentality based on timeless principles and true character. This remarkable book is a bold jolt of CPR to a failing heart.”
-Stephen R. Covey
Author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Great post Dan. Love the descriptions of the difference in mentoring and apprenticeship. Thanks, I do some of both, more on the mentoring side. I appreciate it!
I find apprenticing is tougher to begin, takes more work and commitment and lots of gentleness and compassion.
Thanks for jumping in,
Recently, one colleague was expressing his anxiety about his feedback from students and his inability to handle the class. I offered him some tips after discussing and understanding his position. After a week, he came to me and said, your formula really worked well. Since then he started coming to me. One day I was talking with a person, whom he did not like. Next day, his attitude was not friendly and he enquired “What I was discussing with the person about him”. I was surprised but politely replied “Nothing about you”. Why should I talk about you with someone? He was not happy and perhaps thought that I am doing something wrong about him.
After few days, again he came to me and said “sorry” for his behaviours and sought some suggestions. I helped him immediately and he was again very happy. Later on, he expressed his position, why he is not feeling well nowadays. I listened to him carefully and consoled him. Dot worry, you are better than others and you have unique strength that your colleagues do not have. Since then, he tremendously changed his attitude and he keeps coming and discussing issues often. What I understood that when you offer suggestion to anyone, you also need to understand his position, thought process and problems. You need to put yourself in others position.
In case, when somebody needs your guidance, provide them proper guidance. It could be even without understanding others position or thinking. So, apprenticeship is about suggestions and mentorship is about guidance.
Thats a great angle on the whole thing of bringing out leaders, and fits well with your FB post about ‘suggesting’ not insisting. Yes I’ve offered inthis way, but it makes me realise I did it more i nthe past than I do now. It makes me think that as I have got to understand more of what I don’t know, I am more reluctant to promote ‘the way of doing things’ and help people through blind spots. And to save you pointng out the obvious confusion there – it is not about what I know or what I don’t know, but what I can offer, what I can see, what I can share, and how I can listen.
There goes my weekend!
Wow. Like this post. I actually had a conversation with somebody last week where we talked about the potential they had and how we could work together to see it come to life. It’s hard sometimes because I’m younger and work with people who are in a similar season of life, but need to speak from a place of authority to help empower them. Do you think Jeremie’s book covers that?
I haven’t approached someone with an offer to help them get to their next level (unless my children count?!). But I was pleasantly surprised when we were required, during management training, to work with a direct report on an “issue”. Although the it was still difficult to initiate a conversation about the issue with the individual, having a plan in hand and a follow up strategy led to a bit of “next level” behavior for both of us.
As far as developing an apprentice relationship with someone, your post suggests that this would begin with the mentor, not the mentee. I would think one important component would be the way in which you and the potential apprentice acknowledge that the relationship is expanding to include these roles. An acquaintance of mine recently said on Social Media that someone was rather publicly proclaiming to have “mentored” him even though the two had never spent more than five minutes together. It sounds like the mentor either had a completely different perception of the relationship than the “apprentice” or is just fabricating things. Good to establish expectations or at least have a conversation about them at the beginning of the apprenticeship.
The definition of the word Mentor as used here is not accurate though the point is fully taken. The true definition is quite significant and comes from the story of Mentor and Telemachus in Greek mythology. It speaks of a powerful relationship involving fatherly guidance. It is also quite pro-active in its role.
Unfortunately, I have never had such a privilege. I mentor based on what I wished I had: I daily use the antithesis of my experiences to guide others and have seen some phenomenal, almost miraculous results. The crux of the matter is heart and trust with a little insight on the side. I have told my employees that I take their success in life quite personally and offer my dedication to their careers even after they are no longer under my leadership. We frequently debrief after meetings, review events and options. Next, there comes the process of weaning: increasing responsibilities more and more and interjecting oneself less and less. There is little in life that is more fulfilling!
I enjoyed your post, Dan. Your approach is appears heartfelt and I found it inspiring to read about.
Interesting process distinction with mentorship and apprenticeship. It does make sense since I was recently asked by the now mentee for some mentorship. Still working on the definitions and scope with that person. Apprenticeship can be based in a leadership learning model. Perhaps, using the older terms you then transition into journeyman and eventually become a skilled or craftsman leader.
Tie in yesterday’s thread on performance appraisals and it might seem that it is a leadership obligation to incorporate the apprenticeship as a portion of the appraisal process.
I love the apprenticeship model. For any kind of complex learning, I’m tempted to believe it’s unbeatable for that. I love the mentoring experience; it is satisfying to help someone make progress in their overall growth and direction.
I’m not sure I can agree with Jeremie’s distinction between Apprenticeship and Mentoring, though.
In my mental model, both the apprentice and the mentee initiate the relationship. The mentor or master (in the case of the apprenticeship) may invite the consideration of the relationship in either case, but the mentee or apprentice is the one who must initiate, otherwise, there is not sufficient motivation to make the relationship work.
I have invited the consideration of mentoring and apprenticeship. I have had my mentorship of someone suggested by another, but invited by my mentee. This brings up another point: both apprenticeships and mentoring relationships are often suggested by a perceptive third party.
Once the relationship is underway, I believe some steering of both parties is important in both mentoring and apprenticeship, but in apprenticeship, the BULK of the steering is done by the master, and in mentoring, almost ALL the steering is done by the mentee.
And while I appreciate Jeremie’s metaphor for replicating yourself in another, I’m careful to qualify that more as allowing one to take on my template in an apprenticeship… only long enough for them to fill it out, and then hopefully, exceed my teaching and add their own developments, moving both themselves and our craft/domain beyond my own contribution.
Great discussion to help clarify mental models for these important human relationships.
Great post Dan.
In apprenticing some one you replicate yourself in someone else but this only possible if the apprentice believes in his master. This believe actually let you pour what you have in others. Sometime its not the master’s believe in his apprentice but an apprentice’s believe in his master take him to the platform where he wants to be. secondly, in apprenticing someone master tell apprentice only those things what he thinks apprentice should know about himself and address only those blind spots which master thinks are the cause of hindrance but if master knows all the blind spot and make him to believe in his capabilities then his disciple may be able to change the whole world because human mind is capable of anything, it has all the past and future lies in it.
I run a Mentors program and after reading this realize it’s more of an Apprenticeship program.
Thanks for pointing this out. It changes my marketing strategy!
I wish you success!
I couldn’t agree with you more that all great leaders speak of the mentors or coaches that helped them along their journey. The key component to finding the right personal or executive coach is, as you said, to pinpoint the goals the mentee or coached is trying to reach.
It makes it so much easier to find an executive coach to work with when you know what your challenge is that you are trying to overcome in your business or profession. The added bonus is that the coach helps you uncover other possibilities while you are on the journey.
In the end, clearing your path is what turns you into a leader or transitions you into a better leader than you were before!