The mark of a good mentor is that their students develop and become mentors themselves. Greg Gullberg is an example of when mentorship works like it is supposed to. Gullberg enjoyed great mentors while in college, an internship at CNN, and in his early journalism career. Now that he is transitioning into being an industry veteran, he is paying it forward. Greg Gullberg has become an excellent mentor himself to young talent coming up through the ranks.
In any organization, the junior staff of today are the leaders of tomorrow. However, tension sometimes may exist between junior and senior staff. Juniors may regard their seniors as too rigid and not open to new ideas, while seniors may look at the youthful energy of juniors as undisciplined. Mentorship is a good way of acknowledging and bridging this generational gap.
From a mentor’s point of view, mentorship provides the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and mold tomorrow’s leaders. The mentor can share his or her years of experience and insights with juniors to help them understand the industry they are in. Open communication between the two will also help seniors understand the career development goals of new recruits and the obstacles they face in adapting to the company’s culture. With this increased understanding, internal policies can be structured to foster growth and remove work-related bottlenecks. Mentors can also spot potential leaders. These high performers can quickly become an asset to the business. Guiding their growth by exposing them to the different workings of the organization will help them be better decision makers as today’s juniors and tomorrow’s leaders.
For junior employees, mentorship presents an opportunity to learn. Mentors help reinforce academic knowledge with the practical skills of the work place. They also give invaluable career advice accumulated from their years of experience. Such insights would take juniors years to acquire on their own. Employees should also realize that advancing in an organization is much easier when a mentor is guiding them.