Securing the right mentor is a major hurdle, but maintaining the relationship can be just as challenging. To keep the mentoring relationship going, try these three things:
- Provide structure. Set up regular meetings with agendas so your conversations don't degenerate into aimless chitchat. Make sure each meeting moves you toward your goals.
- Expect rigor. If your mentor doesn't provide regular assignments, ask for them, and work them into your agenda. You have a mentor for learning so ensure that the learning occurs.
- Know when to move on. Once you've achieved your goals, move on before the law of diminishing returns kicks in. But stay in touch. Your mentor may become a valuable supporter of your 'leader learning' even once your formal relationship ends.
Adapted from Guide to Getting the Mentoring You Need (HBR OnPoint Collection).