What Every Leader Needs #8: Be Mentored

*A blog series on what every leader needs to be effective in serving Christ* Mentor and be mentored. It is a word that we use in leadership talks, training and in books.  No matter our age or experience we all need a mentor that will speak into our lives and help us become better leaders. The need for mentoring is key for a leader to develop. Every leader needs someone to look up to and emulate. Mentoring begins with a trusting relationship between two people. Leaders should continually mentor and be mentored so that they maintain humility and accountability. No leader should ever get to a point in their life that they say, "I don't need a mentor, I will just mentor others because of how much I know!" We always have more to learn! In order to be mentored, one must be humble.

You will at some point need to ask the mentor if they will help you grow as a person and as a leader. John Maxwell says, “You develop credibility with people when you connect with them and show that you genuinely want to help them"(21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership). Jesus exemplified the life of a mentor by pouring into the disciples throughout his ministry. Today’s culture is in need of mentoring that will speak the truth to the difficult situations people face on a daily basis. Building a trusting relationship is important in teaching and practicing mentoring. Unless a mentor has built trust into the relationship, the growth will become stagnate.

The one being mentored must be teachable, humble and be moldable. The mentor must be encouraging, trustworthy and help motivate. Mentoring is a lifestyle of teaching others to grow in their relationship with Christ. Mentors become experts at asking the right questions to draw out the best in the person that is being mentored. Relationships are at the core of mentoring and without it there is no connection at the heart level. People in today’s culture miss out on connecting at the heart level. Mentors need to take the initiative and influence others for Christ. Jesus spent His time with the disciples and multitudes, but spent a majority of time mentoring the disciples at the heart level.

People are looking for a leader who will set an example by living an authentic lifestyle for God. Being authentic must come out of a desire to confide in and be transparent with a trusted mentor.  A mentor must teach and model the truth. Jesus is the definition of truth and through the relationship with the disciples; they became leaders who would change the world with the gospel. Through the disciples making mistakes, Jesus used every chance to help focus them upon learning to become better leaders.
What about you? Do you have a Paul and Timothy in your life? How important is mentoring in leadership?