It's rewarding to become a mentor and it's a role that every leader should take on. But you can't take every young, aspiring leader under your wing. Ask yourself these three questions to choose the right protégé:
- How motivated is the mentee? Assess the reasons for the junior person's drive to become a leader. Your mentee has to be motivated if you're going to have a successful relationship. Do your values align?
- How far is there to go? Where is the mentee in terms of experience versus where she wants to be? You should take someone on with developmental gaps that you can help fill.
- Do I have the relevant experience and time? You never want to shortchange a mentoring relationship. Be sure you can effectively support the mentee in terms of knowledge and effort. Remember, you're 'serving' them....so be ready to provide the time, energy, and skills needed to help.
Adapted from "Get the Mentoring Equation Right" by Whitney Johnson.