Leadership is a process which requires time and input. Conferring to the articles and journals, there is a need to mentor leaders that obviously take time. In the course of varied professional obligations delivery, people face tough and unique challenges, which call for particular leadership attention. According to Smith (2011), mentoring is a leadership tool responsible for the development of an enterprise’s managerial talent through interaction of the concerned parties. The mentorship process entails a party with experience, wisdom, and expertise interacting with a less experienced party. According to Smith (2011), “Mentoring is a leadership tool that helps develop an organization’s managerial talent through interaction between a mentor and a mentee” (p. 14). One major aspect of mentorship is leading the leaders; it implies that existing leaders work hand to hand with upcoming leaders of an organization, passing on the necessary leadership skills. This is not a theoretical process, but heavily calls for practical approaches.
It is true that mentors need to set an example as role models. Mentors have to be keen on how they carry out their various activities and obligations in the organization. More so, how mentors behave within the organization will influence the upcoming leaders. It is necessary for new leaders to pick the best behaviors from their mentors in an effort to attain the company’s objectives. Accordingly, Smith (2011) explains that organizations need to offer a counseling platform for upcoming leaders. The leadership process and responsibility comes with varied challenges and obstacles. At times, these leaders require counseling to guide them through their work. It advisable for mentors to engage trainees in projects, which will stretch and develop their leadership skills.
The aspect of mentoring leaders mainly applies to workplaces. All organizations have the responsibility to mentor future leaders through various mentoring relationship between new leaders and experienced managers. In any work place, the human resource department develops programs for mentoring to take place. The relationship needs to outline the objectives, results, scope and boundaries of the relationship. In addition, the programs have a clear outline of the available communications methods, which will allow proper co-ordination of the mentoring process. Ideally, the mentoring process should have a specified period to allow the new leaders to implement acquired skills. At this point, the mentor and mentee assess the trainee’s present competencies. Workplace mentors understand their professional boundaries and ensure the mentee to work and practice within the picture of activities. Diagne (2008), “Mentors have the ability to be flexible, task-focused and can apply those skills in a career planning context” (p. 2).
Implementation of mentoring process in an organization acquires varied steps as was mentioned in the article. First, the HR department understands the mentoring programs in place, target group, prior achievements of the program, and its objectives. The mentoring program should be visible for the organization and exciting. Planning a mentoring program uses the SWEAT plan. The HR will search for all the existing mentoring affiliations in the company, question the reason for their existence and use the information to energize the mentoring program. Finally, the workplace will apply all the necessary factors in making the program successful and tone it to meet the objectives of the company.
One of the available methods of mentoring leaders is through enhancing board effectiveness. The mentoring and coaching board comprises of members responsible for training new leaders in the organization. Having such responsibilities requires attention to the board members and operations. Companies have devised ways to enhance board effectiveness, which include constant assessment of the members. Board work entails recruitment and selection of competent members. Just like any other profession, board work members need to exhibit certain qualities, which will ensure achievement of the set goals. Curran and Totten (2010) state that “Competencies are the combination of knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, and behaviors needed to perform a job or task effectively” (p. 1). Members of the board need identified qualities and personalities to ensure smooth operation of mentoring programs. Allocation of trainees to mentors will depend on the qualities and objectives of the programs. Different departments of an organization require specified qualities. Therefore, a mentor from the finance department will have diverse significant qualities as compared to those in the marketing department. Mentoring, on the other hand, allows narrowing specialization as workers are attached to their immediate supervisors. According to Curran & Totten (2010), the authors emphasize on accountability being a quality that all board members need to exhibit. Developing a culture of accountability and holding the board and leadership accountable for demanding high performance will ensure productivity. Board members need to exhibit ability to handle efficiently complex issues, which may arise in the course of their duties. Complexity management is an ability to balance tradeoffs, competing interests, and contradictions. In so doing, board members display requisite leadership skills to their junior colleagues.
Mentoring leaders entails meeting the staff expectations in their career growth. One motivating factor is retention of staff. High turnover of employees is a demotivating factor to the remaining staff. Therefore, for the management to meet the employees’ expectations it is necessary that the concerned department engage staff. Mentors indicate that listening is a major skill and creates a positive environment for leaders’ growth. Through mentoring, an organization can also meet the various expectations of its employees. Both employees and partners of an organization need to gain fulfillment, be recognized as they deliver their duties.
Mentoring practices in an enterprise imply people-centric approach of management. According to Keller, mentoring and relationships tie staff to the organization. Organizations with focus on people’s expectations report high rates of staff retention. Keller in Why mentoring is about more than 'just' staff retention (2007), explains, “Listening is perhaps the most important skill for mentors, and a positive atmosphere should be established that invites participation” (p. 1). The main aim of mentoring is to develop careers of the workers. In this case, companies with mentorship programs indicate interest in the careers of its employees.
Notable is the change in the mentoring process whereby even the young people can mentor older. According to most companies, mentoring programs serve as attractions to acquiring employees with qualified skills and experiences. Current managers encourage mentoring young people and fostering the learning environment. Companies should not rely on the idea that training the young people will come with a move to other better paying jobs. Actually, after training and mentoring, most young people prefer remaining in the organization.
Workplaces require mentoring of leaders. The process of creating the mentoring process will solely rely on the human resource department. Organizations with proper mentoring programs tend to achieve their objectives. More so, other competitor companies will try poaching workers from organizations with existing and working mentoring programs. It is necessary for all employees to gain experience and managerial skills. I concur with the provided information that mentoring should start at early stage of work.
For instance, mentoring should start at the training level of any job. For this reason, companies have mentoring boards, the main role of which is mentoring new leaders.
Mentoring leaders is an approach to be implemented in organizations by authorities. In turn, the idea of mentoring leaders will be a universal practice, hence efficient labor market. According to the prior experiences from Curran & Totten (2010), this will reduce the need for states outsourcing efficient and skilled labor. The practice nurtures young leaders, which will have a ripple effect in the labor market. The current companies minimize on the training costs and prefer acquiring persons with skills. However, this can be extremely expensive. More so, few companies engage in training and mentoring young leaders. The result is for companies to outsource or input many resources later in training their existing staff. This can be time consuming, hence negatively affecting the company’s productivity. In my opinion, it is important for mentoring to take place at early stage.
Information provided by Smith (2011) indicate that mentoring leaders is an involving process, which requires the attention of major sectors of any organization. The growth and sustenance of any organization requires mentorship of its new leaders.
Obviously, organizations change from time to time. In the event of any changes, enterprises should be ready to handle the challenges and obstacles, which come with change. One of the main approaches organization prepares itself is through mentoring leaders. The information provided in the articles clearly explains the essence of mentoring leaders. The ideas and models discussed aim to bring out the best new leaders through coaching and trainings.
During my first job after completion of my diploma course, the organization’s focus was on mentoring new trainees in every department. In that particular period, every department had a trainee and we all worked under managers. On a daily basis, the supervisors would provide us with duties to accomplish. The approach of the organization was training on the job. The managers involved the trainees in major job activities such that learning and training took place constantly. The company encouraged interactions at all levels of management hence learning for every employee. The organization structure was clear which enhanced accountability from the juniors to senior management.
The various mentoring programs available were tailored to enhance productivity from the workers. Assessments and evaluation of assigned duties were a regular activity in the course of my training. According to my supervisor, these assessments gave a report on the progress of both my and his works. Another notable similarity in the provided information is the company’s urge to retain staff. On completion of my one-year training, the company offered me a position within the same department. This was quite motivating, as I had become an asset to the organization.