Turning Managers into Leaders: The Art of Mentoring

Turning Managers into Leaders: The Art of Mentoring

David G. Wolf (Barry University, USA) and David K. Ober (Eastern University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch081
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Fostering stable, reliable and knowledgeable leaders is one of today's top priorities in many organizations. Leadership is generally considered the ability to influence others. There is a widespread, generally accepted belief that mentoring should be an integral factor within the leadership development paradigm to recognize and train protégés in the art of exerting influence over others. The mentoring experience may also have a significant impact on manager development, given the operational, regulatory, and economic constraints placed on managers in today's fast-paced, technology driven environment. Understanding how mentors acquire the requisite knowledge, wisdom and communication skills that allow them to positively influence others to engage, build and maintain leadership skills is necessary to a successful mentoring relationship. There is a plethora of mentoring models and programs available today. Understanding the needs, wants, desires and expectations of the various organizational stakeholders will aid in deciding which mentoring program may be right for any two individuals seeking to engage in the mentoring process.
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If I hadn't had mentors, I wouldn't be here today. I'm a product of great mentoring, great coaching... Coaches or mentors are very important. They could be anyone--your husband, other family members, or your boss. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo



As we continue to realize significant global economic growth, the ever-increasing value of human and intellectual capital indicates that organizations need to focus on identifying, attracting and developing future leaders. The identification of employees with leadership potential is a continuing challenge for many organizations (Zachary, 2012; Pieper, 2004). As a result, finding managers with the potential to become leaders is a continual process that requires creativity, pervasiveness, and determination. “A most important component of the mentor’s job description is dedication and attention” (Laughlin & Moore, 2012, pp. 38-39).

The rewards of mentoring can be significant for the mentor, protégée and the organization (Bawany, 2014). Learning how to recognize and reap those benefits, as well as ensure a successful strategic transition from manger to leader using the mentoring process, is a powerful tool in today’s organizational environment.

What Is Mentoring?

Many organizations have recognized the value of mentoring. David Brown, manager of mentoring services at the New Zealand Institute of Management, stated that “Most of the successful business leaders or other role models of society that we admire today have probably, at one time or another, a genuine mentor to thank for their success” (Birchfield, 2008, p. 7). Likewise, individual and organizational development recognizes mentoring as a critical tool for career growth and professional enhancement (Zachary, 2012).

A mentor is defined as one “whom you have learned new knowledge, skills, principles, wisdom, or perspectives that have made an impact on your life” (Chang, 2008, p. 79). Mentoring provides the opportunity for the protégé to generate success in new roles and situations along with providing coaching, insight, and protection (Hezlett & Gibson, 2007; Wasburn & Crispo, 2006). Understanding how to effectively incorporate these ingredients is the challenge facing organizations while providing support and opportunity for the protégée to gain an insider’s perspective into the organization.

Mentoring offers a depth of contextualization to provide effective leader development that includes entrepreneurs. Sullivan (2000) stated every entrepreneur needs a mentor. Recognizing that the entrepreneur’s ability to learn may be acquired through experience, mentoring could be “tailored to meet the needs of individual entrepreneur’s development” (p. 163). Sullivan's research posits experiential learning is critical for the entrepreneur. Learning needs to be entwined with the entrepreneurs’ goals and strengths. Previous studies have used metaphors such as war, passion, or journey to represent the goals of entrepreneurs (Clarke & Holt, 2009). Entrepreneurs are constantly learning as they lead, grow and expand their businesses and start new ones. Mentoring provides a resource to enhance the learning experience (Kutzhanova, Lyons, & Lichtenstein, 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mentoring: “A mutual relationship with an intentional agenda designed to convey specific content along with life wisdom from one individual to another” (Addington Graves, 2002).

Protégée/Mentee: An individual who takes advantage of the opportunities offered to them by their mentor and makes the most of the mentoring relationship for personal and/or organizational purposes. – Unknown.

Group Mentoring: “Peer-group mentoring brings together peers with similar learning interests or needs. The group is self-directed and self-managed. It takes responsibility for crafting its own learning agenda and for managing the learning process so that each member's learning needs are met and everyone derives maximum benefit from each other's knowledge, expertise and experience” – Lois Zachary, Ed.D.

Formal Mentoring: “Program parameters are defined for the mentoring partnership and include both structural and accountability mechanisms” – Lois Zachary, Ed.D.

Mentor: “A mentor is a more experienced individual willing to share knowledge with someone less experienced in a relationship of mutual trust” - David Clutterbuck.

Peer Mentoring: “Involves two or more personal of equal status and can range from a small gr4oup to a large network. Peer mentoring often combines both informal and forma characteristics as programs may be officially offered within institutions, yet their content is determined by participants” – Nicole Thomas, Jill Bystydzienski and Anand Desai.

Team Mentoring: “Team mentoring offers a methodology for facilitating the learning of an intact team. Together the individuals making up the team articulate mutual learning goals and work simultaneously with one or more mentors who guide them through a deliberate and deliberative process to facilitate their learning. The mentoring process allows the team to be supported and to learn from each other’s experience and knowledge” – Lois Zachary, Ed.D.

Informal Mentoring: “Occurs in a relationship between two people where on gains insight, knowledge, wisdom, friendship, and support from the other. Either person may initiate the mentoring relationship, the mentor to help the other, the protégée to gain wisdom from a trusted person” – Lonnie D. Inzer and C.B. Crawford, Ph.D.

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