Have you ever stopped to think about how many people are influenced by your actions? As a business professional, I like to reflect on interactions I had throughout the day. I often look back and smile at the good behaviors and shudder at the memory of behaviors that I don't want to repeat. This can be an uncomfortable exercise, but I know there are two reasons to keep going: 1) I value personal growth, and 2) I am a mentor to young leaders, and they are modeling their behavior after mine.
John Maxwell included the Law of Modeling in his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. In this law, Maxwell stresses the importance of finding role models to emulate. This is more than just reading the books by great leaders, it means we need to identify people in our lives who we can see and hear and look to as an example. Maxwell says, "The most important phrase you will ever hear a good leader say is: 'Follow me.'"
As a teacher and facilitator for Alloy, I like to use the phrase "Go M.A.D." at the start of the day, which means Go Make a Difference. Using this phrase is a reminder to be aware and to go make a difference in the lives of the people who cross my path daily. Looking back at my young professional days, seeking out mentors who had experienced success was part of my outreach. As a Chinese proverb says, "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."
Mentoring young leaders has been such a joy in my life, and it has challenged me to seek out mentors to sharpen my leadership skills. It has also made me wonder - why don't more leaders look to others for mentorship? I think two factors are at play: our fear of vulnerability and our belief that we are too busy. After all, to really benefit from mentoring, a person must be open to asking questions and learning from observations. Some may see this as a vulnerable position and choose not to invest the requisite time or energy.
Our Alloy team members have all been mentored through the teachings of John Maxwell and many other outstanding leaders. If you are looking to connect with other great leaders to develop your professional potential, join us at a future event! Email our Solutions Team or visit alloystrong.com for more information.