Mentors can help shape our journey. They offer advice and insights that we may not have access to. Early on in your career, you may have been eager for a mentor’s guidance and now you’re perhaps in a position to offer that guidance to others yourself. It turns out though that even the most seasoned professional can still learn and grow, in fact it’s the openness to growth that distinguishes the highest caliber of executives. Too many senior level professionals think that they are past the stage of being able to benefit from a mentor. However, our experience in stewarding mentorship sessions for people of all levels shows that you’re never too senior to meet with a mentor. For Ivy Exec mentor Julie Kantor of Twomentor, mentoring is also two-way street that benefits all parties, as she explains, “Mentoring is a pay it forward concept and we each can both mentor and be mentored. My mentors are 20 years younger than me and 20 years older than me. My advice – get in the game and get different perspectives”.
Call it “peer mentorship” if you like, but experience has shown us that whatever you call it, it can be immensely helpful. If you don’t believe us, read on to see what some of our members have to say about their own experience.
Benefit From an Outside Perspective
Ivy Exec mentors are some of the most accomplished individuals in their field, so getting their advice for your personal and professional growth is an uncommon opportunity. As a senior level professional, the pool of people who you can approach for ideas, insights and even assistance who will truly understand the challenges you face is small. By working with a mentor, you can have a sounding board who can offer actual tried-and-tested experience on the matter you need help with.
“I sought out a mentor, as we all have our blind spots, and mentors can provide us with an unbiased view from being outside the situation. I have always benefitted from a mentor, be it for seeking advice or a viewpoint of what they would have done in a similar situation. I have interacted with my mentor for advice on career growth, on my CV, and even my personality.
I strongly believe that more senior we get in our career, the more we should seek mentors, as by then we have built even bigger blinders for ourselves. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs globally have shared that one of the big contributors to their success has been their regular interactions with their mentors.” – Anand Shrivastasta, Senior Manager
Peer Mentorship Empowers Participants
At a higher level of business, it can be hard to find safe peers to share your challenges with. Individuals within your business may have their own priorities that cloud their perspective. Those who are close to you, friends and family, may hold back out of love and kindness. A peer mentor can empower you to make decisions, take control of your work and your personal development, and push forward. One retail executive with 30 years of experience shares that he regularly uses the mentor program to gain new perspectives from highly-qualified individuals.
One of the most pleasant surprises for me has been the mentor sessions, a tremendous help that I have found invaluable. Almost every month I go to the site and use the various filters to select a mentor from my chosen field, to talk about a topic I choose, and a sub topic within that. It’s a formula I wish more mentoring organizations used! There has not been one mentor session I’ve had where I did not feel like the person I was talking to was a world class executive, stellar communicator, and someone whose advice I learned from and respected.” –Rick Planos, Retail Executive
Cultivate an Openness to Learning
It really all boils down to taking advantage of an opportunity to learn. Intelligent people never stop learning, and successful leaders take every opportunity to improve their hard and soft skills. Our own mentor program coordinator sums it up perfectly when she says,
“We often think that mentoring is something that should be used by professionals that are just starting their careers. Through many years of experience we have come to find that mentoring is a good fit for everyone, no matter the stage of their career. Mentors provide a new vantage point; they are a sounding board for your ideas, someone to brainstorm with. Getting advice from someone who has been where you are now, someone who also had doubts and challenges to overcome, can be invaluable. Mentoring is as valuable to senior executives as much as anyone that is just starting out.” – Vanja Karlicic, Ivy Exec Mentor Program Coordinator
Ready to meet with a mentor yourself? Schedule a session!