The Art of Mentorship: 3 Steps for Building Business Leaders

The Art of Mentorship: 3 Steps for Building Business Leaders

The Art of Mentorship: 3 Steps for Building Business Leaders. As a woman working in the technology industry, I needed guidance on how to best contribute at a strategic level. According to data from mentorship consultancy MicroMentor, 83 percent of small businesses with mentor programs survive longer than five years. It's important for mentors to establish what mentees want from the interaction early and then build a mentorship program from the ground up. Step 2: Create a productive, open and challenging experience. Step 3: Maximize the opportunity. Mentors should also open themselves up to learning from their mentees. I learned quickly that mentorship helps all parties involved. One of our own studies at Sage Group revealed that while 28 percent of small businesses have mentorship programs in place, 93 percent understand that mentorship programs improve overall company performance. Mentorship also can play a role in helping people consistently deliver good work despite distractions.

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The Art of Mentorship: 3 Steps for Building Business Leaders

A significant majority of women — 63 percent — have never had a formal mentor in their career. It goes (almost) without saying that everyone in the global-business community can contribute to decreasing that number.

I was lucky enough to enter a mentorship program early in my professional life. I sought a mentor because I needed someone to help me figure out the best way to make my voice heard. As a woman working in the technology industry, I needed guidance on how to best contribute at a strategic level.

Mentorship is critical because it brings an inherent ability to drive growth and success in colleagues and leaders alike. Mentoring frequently improves employee performance. Meanwhile, mentors are rewarded by the fulfilling experience of seeing their mentees succeed.

According to data from mentorship consultancy MicroMentor, 83 percent of small businesses with mentor programs survive longer than five years. MicroMentor also found that small- and medium-sized businesses with mentor programs experienced an 83 percent growth in revenue (compared to a 16 percent increase among companies without mentor programs). There is clear business value in mentorship.

Related: The Leadership Gap That You and the World’s Most Prominent CEOs Have in Common

I recently reflected on my own mentorship experience with a panel of entrepreneurs at Sage Summit U.S. in Atlanta. We discussed ways business owners could not only survive, but thrive. And we noted that the process often reveals fresh perspectives on the trajectory of mentors’ own career paths and futures.

That conversation inspired me to share three…

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