Mentoring Leaders for Bold Tomorrows
Individual Mentoring or Custom In-house Group Programs
Publishing and Speaking
In this Issue:
Bold Leaders: Now More Than Ever
Leader Mentoring: The New Development Resource
In Leader Mentoring: Find, Inspire and Cultivate Great Leaders, Michael Shenkman makes the case that mentoring differs from instruction, teaching, and coaching in that it emphasizes not talents and skills used in executing a project but the qualities and values of life that are needed to sustain oneself in the creative endeavor. "No mentors, no leaders," he says, adding, "I want my new book to strongly advocate for leader mentoring as an essential, premium developmental service that aspiring leaders and their sponsors, bosses and partners need to invest in."
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I am pleased to introduce Billie Spell to our readers. She is actively building an Arch of Leadership mentoring practice in San Jose, CA. This article is a transcription of the introduction Billie gave at our Breakfast Program in Silicon Valley, "Leader Mentoring: the Breakthrough Development Resource," on May 22, 2008. I was so moved by her words that I asked her to write them down so that all of our Leader Pathways readers could be similarly inspired:
Now, more than ever, we need new, bold, creative leaders in our organizations. And we need more leaders in every sector of our society (business, service, education and politics, to name a few) more than ever before. These new leaders must think differently, engage in new conversations, and strategize based on the future, not the past. They must not simply project the present onto the future, doing what we are doing now, but harder and for more hours. Rather, these leaders must explore today’s chaotic patterns to discover the new possibilities and designs that will shape the emerging future. They must commit their lives to a clear and compelling vision that they offer to their followers who will collaborate to realize that particular vision in the world. They must resolutely move forward and still be able to recalibrate to the shifting landscape without fear of failure. Ultimately, they must redefine success.
And new aspiring leaders need new models for leadership. These leaders, experienced and new, must rely on their skills of character and their deeply held values to creatively fulfill their responsibilities to their followers and realize their vision. We must take the time to foster and care for these leaders – to provide them with the opportunity to deeply understand and commit to the life of leading and with exemplars to inspire and guide them. How will today’s leaders prepare themselves for the new order? And how will we find, cultivate and inspire new leaders for the increasingly uncertain future?
It is because these issues and questions are important to me personally as well as professionally that I decided to accept Michael’s invitation and become an Arch of Leadership mentor. I see this process as the best answer available today in the professional development field to our urgent and immediate need for new and vital leadership. In other words, I came to the conclusion that our new leaders must be mentored. Mentoring has to take place in many different ways. The traditional informal mentoring process, marked by one person caring for another and being committed to their success in the future, is still the standard. But, given the critical need for leaders in our society, such ad hoc and informal pairings are not sufficient. And so, as a former mentee of Michael’s, I see this great possibility: we can close the gap between our need for leaders and the present shortfall in appropriate means and scale for developing them with the professional leader mentoring process offered by the Arch of Leadership.
As a technology executive and consultant, I like good processes that work and get the results promised. I am excited about this program because it does just that: it offers a deliberate, thoughtful and planned process with a beginning, middle and end that provides visible and enduring results. Leader mentoring is not coaching; it does not teach executive skills. It focuses on those skills of character, qualities and values such as self-awareness and resolve, that build self-trust, focus vision, and sustain the leader through the challenges of creative leading. These are exactly the qualities I believe we need if we will have the bold leaders that can shape a viable future.
Michael’s new book, Leader Mentoring, describes how the profession of Leader Mentoring is poised to provide the catalyst that will change the face of leadership and foster the leaders we so desperately need for the coming decades. Leader Mentors will provide the bridge between the results-driven, skills-based managers of today and the bold leaders who will create and realize the visions for our future. And the program to do this already exists!
That is why I signed on. And so I ask my friends and colleagues, and you, what are we waiting for? The time is now and the tool is professional Leader Mentoring. Let’s get going and put leader mentoring in practice, for the good of our organizations, our customers and for the health and well-being our communities.
How can you help? Consider hiring our professional mentors, of course. Consider becoming an Arch of Leadership mentor. Tell others about our work by encouraging them to subscribe to Leader Pathways and buy the book. Attend our events and meet the principals who make this program come alive.
Our Breakfast Series in Santa Clara, CA continues on July 17 and in the Boston area we'll be meeting on September 10 at the Doubletree Hotel in Waltham Massachusetts. We are also in the process of setting a date for events in Albuquerque, NM. See www.leadermentoring.com for more information and future dates.
Do you have a person or group of people you would like us to meet? If so, we could possibly arrange for an event in your city as well.