Mentor Program Planning

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  • 0:03 Role of Mentoring in…
  • 1:06 Why Create a Mentoring…
  • 2:07 Get With the Program
  • 4:36 Mentees
  • 5:26 Mentors
  • 6:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Scott Tuning

Scott has been a faculty member in higher education for over 10 years. He holds an MBA in Management, an MA in counseling, and an M.Div. in Academic Biblical Studies.

In virtually any industry, there are roles that require knowledge and skills that cannot be obtained through traditional means such as books, classes, or seminars. A mentoring program is one way to ensure that an organization's future leaders possess all the tools required for success and that the departure of senior leadership does not result in a knowledge or performance gap.

Role of Mentoring in Leadership

Help wanted - immediate need! Do you want to work hard, have fun, and make history? An e-commerce company is seeking an individual with executive management experience to lead our organization. The best candidates will have experience in managing an organization with a revenue stream exceeding $130 billion per year. Our ideal candidate will also have experience managing a workforce with more than 325,000 employees worldwide. If you meet these qualifications, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at. . .

Does that sound ridiculous? Of course, it does, but why? Why is it that companies like Amazon do not run job ads like this? The skills that it takes to excel in leadership are not things that can be learned in college or gained by experience in delivering pizza. Rather, the best managers, executives, and officers are more often cultivated and mentored long before being appointed to an executive management position.

Why Create a Mentoring Program?

Virtually every child in America has at one point or another wanted to be a doctor. The path to becoming one is long and arduous. After earning an undergraduate degree, the future physician attends medical school for three years in the classroom and completes a fourth-year as an intern before graduating as a medical doctor.

This is where the real fun begins, and it is also where mentoring becomes critical to future success. Suffice it to say that three years of reading medical textbooks does not effectively prepare an individual to be a physician, nor does an MBA immediately qualify someone to lead an organization. In both cases, the candidate possesses the necessary didactic education, but putting it into practice requires being able to watch and work closely with someone who is already doing the job successfully. This is the way that most Fortune 500 companies groom future leadership, but the mentoring model can be applied successfully to organizations of any size.

Get With the Program

Let's check out the steps it takes to build a mentoring program.

Step 1: Identify the Needs

Virtually any company can benefit from a formal mentoring program, but the success of such a program is contingent on identifying the organization's knowledge transfer needs. The process of developing a mentoring program begins by identifying the specific skills and knowledge that cannot be passed on in any other way. This could be called the needs assessment.

Step 2: Establish the Objectives

Once the target areas are identified, the process can focus on a program that makes the most of each individual mentoring scenario. It is crucial to measure progress in a mentoring relationship, and measuring progress effectively means establishing clear objectives. The process of mentoring is not an abstract concept in which an individual simply shadows the person whose job they will ultimately move into. Rather, it is a linear progression that begins by identifying the needed skills and ends when the mentee clearly possesses the skills necessary to reach the established objectives.

Step 3: Get Some Buy-In

Anyone with leadership experience understands the importance of managing time and resources to ensure that they are spent only on things that add value to the organization. Consequently, selling an organization on the idea of initiating a mentoring program is critically dependent on demonstrating the value it adds to the organization. Mentoring programs add value to organizations by:

  1. Reducing the costs associated with recruitment, training, and retention (especially executive leadership)
  2. Reducing costs associated with the loss of continuity when leadership changes occur
  3. Reducing management turnover by ensuring that new managers possess all the tools and competencies required to be successful in their role
  4. Narrowing the gap between what a manager can do compared against what the organization needs them to do

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