10,000 hours…We’ve all heard that this is about the amount of time you have to spend deliberately practicing something to “master” it. That sounds like a lot of work and effort. So how can we give ourselves a super-charged advantage? It’s actually a trick question. The answer is: we need someone else to give us that advantage.
Mentorship is the secret sauce for expedited success. It might take 10,000 hours to master a skill, but finding a great mentor can give you a valuable boost and significantly reduce the time to mastery.
Many top leaders attribute their success to a mentor who helped them along the way.
There are a lot of ways to go about finding a good mentor, but the very first step should always be a good look in the mirror. Here are three things you will want to decide on before you start to look for a mentor:
These mentoring relationships can be powerful. At the very least, according to Erin Urban at Forbes, “It's nice to have a helping hand over the hurdles.” I think we would all agree. But how do you get started?
Luckily, I have a great checklist to follow whether you’re helping someone find a mentor or looking for one for yourself.
Use your mentoring time to absorb. Show up ready to engage and learn as this is your time for growth. As a leader, you will have ample opportunity to pour into others. Be selfish and intentional about your personal and professional development time. This should be a foundational concept for top leaders. Better your craft. Become a quick learner.
The Bottom line - you can expedite the 10,000 hours if you have the right coach. Furthermore, the faster you can learn more skills, the more opportunities you will find heading your way.
If you don’t have a formal mentoring relationship, now is the time.
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