I want to mentor YOU…

A few months into my tenure with The Company, I was “selected” (note – sarcasm) to be on a committee to design a Leadership Development Program.  Initially, I was the only person on the team who had any experience with this type of program.  As we went along, we brought in another girl (who subsequently became my boss, but I digress…) who also had experience, but were mostly working with people who had been selected politically to help move the project along.  It was a dreadful project.  We met every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 – 4:30 pm and rarely got anything accomplished.  These meetings were torture for me, especially since I would normally teach a 4 hour class on Tuesday mornings, which meant I had about 30 minutes to break down the class, run back to our office (4 blocks away), and shove some food into my mouth before being brought into this meeting.

I could go on for days about the lunacy of this project, but that will be for another time.  Fast forward 9 months… We have selected the three people who will be in this program.  I may have failed to mention that The Company was VERY small, and this was a pilot program for the future Leadership Development Program.  Part of the program included a mentorship with a higher-ranking leader in the organization.  Each participant was asked to come up with a short list of mentors that they would enjoy working with.  Two of the participants completed this task with no problems and came up with a decent list of possible mentors.

Then there was “Doreen.”  Doreen’s list comes back to us and looks really odd.  She has people on the list who are both above and below her level, and it just looked strange.  So, we asked her about it.  “Doreen, is this the list of people you want to mentor you??”  “No, these are the people I want to mentor.”  What. the. $^&@#???  We must have looked completely ridiculous standing there with our mouths open.  Kris and I were completely dumbfounded that someone would have the audacity to tell us who THEY wanted to mentor!  The entire point of the program was for these three people to learn more so that they could be better leaders later on.  Typically, the mentoring relationship is decided by the person looking for guidance (mentee) because they know what they want to learn and select a person whose traits and success they admire.

Not everyone should be a mentor.  This is a simple truth that people need to recognize.  Doreen…. should never mentor anyone.  Ever.  The fact that she is even in management in this organization is a testament to its inherent stupidity.  A mentor should actually have admirable qualities that people want to emulate.  They should also be interested in the development of their mentee… not just stroking their own ego.

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Thanks to LB and her PhotoShop abilities 🙂

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3 Responses to “I want to mentor YOU…”

  1. This post is so funny. I literally laughed out loud at the end. I LOVE it.

    And I’m really glad I could help you out with my PS abilities. Remember, if there are any infringement issues…someone else did it…and we know who…

  2. butterflyliz32 Says:

    You really have no idea how sublimely happy this picture makes me. I had a vision and you really brought it to life in all it’s snarky glory.

  3. I like your blog. It brings me insight on the world of office politics. It also makes me doubly sure that I do not want to work from a cube… But please continue to write about all these matters so I don’t find myself giving in…

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