February 8, 2010

What's on Your List?

Beginning the New Year you probably had a list. Resolutions, goals, dreams and other names adorn the tops of those lists but most are clearly future focused on business or self improvement.
So, what about you? How have you determined and declared your new pace and direction for this year? What are the top of mind issues that are driving your actions and reactions on a daily or weekly basis?
If relationships, specifically those that help you and help you help others are near or at the top of your list, bravo. Over time the right balance and types of relationship priorities will move you in a positive direction for your personal and professional achievement.

And what type of relationships will really give you the right balance of knowledge, accomplishment, influence and service? Being both a protégé and a mentor offers the best on both sides of the coin. Here’s why.

You’ve probably heard the old adage, ‘when the student is ready the teacher will appear’. Truly that sage advice has merit and numerous stories that can back up the premise. But, just for the sake of grins, let’s look at the reversal with a slight twist for another truth. When the mentor is ready the protégés will appear. Got it?

A great life principle is built on the truth that you are never given a challenge that is too big for you to handle. Whatever challenges or obstacles that confront you will always be within your abilities (or the abilities of those you know and call on) to be conquered. You’ve seen that happen on numerous occasions, haven’t you?

If you believe that truth then you’ll be proactively responding to any and all challenges or opportunities. That includes those in the relationship development arena.

You have faced some major challenges in your life, perhaps especially over the past two years. If you have incorporated the assistance of another (like a wise mentor) you have most assuredly met those challenges with greater confidence, more competence and with a stronger probability of overcoming.

Likewise, if you have been there for others (as a wise mentor) you have made the difficult or impossible task easier, less scary and more doable. Plus, you’ve walked away feeling better about yourself too. What a nice ‘extra’ you received that you weren’t counting on.

So, before you do anything else take a moment to reflect and act on this prompting. If relationship building isn’t on or near the top of your list add it right now. Next, find your first (or second or third) mentor who will become a wise listener, teacher, advisor, connector, encourager for your specific needs. He or she is ‘ready’ and waiting for you to appear and may be closer than you think.

Then, make yourself ‘ready’ as a mentor for someone else. It is easier than you might think and could be the most rewarding relationship you build this year.

Are you ready to become both a mentor and a protégé? Perhaps it’s time to add that to your list.
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