I’ve noticed that there are basically two types of managers – those who mentor and those who don’t. I couldn’t think of a reason not to mentor a promising person, so I did an unofficial survey and these are the responses I got:
* I don’t have time. Mentoring does take some time, but to me its well worth it. You’re helping someone develop skills that you may just need to rely on in the future.
* If I mentor employees, they might leave. Frankly, I think that if you don’t mentor capable employees, they’ll leave anyway. They’ll be frustrated or feel like there are no interesting challenges in their current position. I’d rather have them leave with a positive attitude and new skills.
* If I mentor someone, he might end up getting my job. If you’re good at what you do, the employee you mentor should get your job – after you’re promoted.
And then there was the manager who told me that every one of the employees she supervised were severely lacking in skills and were not worthy of her mentorship. Actually, a lot of mentors look for employees with a great attitude. Skills can be taught. Attitudes are hard to change.