Mentoring As A Platform For Growth

Today, I am honored to share this guest blog post by author Chip Bell.

The Osprey is a very large grey and white bird with a two-foot wingspan. Often mistaken for a large hawk or eagle, the osprey’s diet is almost exclusively fish. As such they are sometimes called river hawks or fish hawks. It is truly breath taking to watch them suddenly stop mid-flight and dive straight down at the water only to emerge with a large fish in their talons.

Ospreys nest in a very tall trees, on the side of a rock cliff, or on a man-made platform near a body of water. I live on a large lake. When the power company installed giant power poles beside a nearby bridge over the lake, they added platforms on top of the power poles specifically for osprey nests. During this season every power pole contains ospreys feeding their offspring as they prepare them for fishing in the lake below.

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Mentoring is a lot like an osprey platform. Done well it provides a foundation for the birth of new knowledge. Mentoring should be grounded in a set of values that best contributes to sustained growth and contribution. Mentoring provides a supportive relationship that nurtures learning and encourages insight. It is an enclave for converting instruction into understanding. It provides a launch pad for new skills and fresh knowledge. Great mentors know that the ultimate goal of mentoring is not simply feeding competence, it is getting protégés to be able to successfully “leave the nest of the relationship” in order to pursue fulfillment and achievement.

About the Author: Chip Bell is the author of 20 books, including Wired and Dangerous (co-authored with John Patterson). He is a senior partner with the Chip Bell Group and serves as a consultant, trainer, or speaker to major organizations. Chip’s book, Managers as Mentors, co-authored by best-selling author, Marshall Goldsmith, is available on Amazon and at select bookstores nationwide.

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