14. February 2016 · Comments Off on Elements of Mentoring by W. Brad Johnson and Charles R. Ridley · Categories: Uncategorized



The Elements of Mentoring by W. Brad Johnson and Charles R. Ridley serves as a handbook for those interested in mentoring and those considering mentoring. I find this book to be very useful as there is currently no regulatory board or governing body that certifies the essential components of a mentorship.

The six main chapters are

  • What Excellent Mentors Do: Matters of Skill
  • Traits of Excellent Mentors: Matters of Style and Personality
  • Arranging the Mentor-Protégé Relationship: Matters of Beginning
  • Knowing Thyself As a Mentor: Matters of Integrity
  • When Things Go Wrong: Matters of Restoration
  • Welcoming Change and Saying Goodbye: Matters of Closure

My favorite quotes are as follows.

Page 3, “Mentors must behave like prudent investors; they must be selective in their choice of protégés. The investment should pay dividends for both mentor and protégé.”

Page 4, “In business settings, mentorships that begin informally often are more effective than those that are brokered or “arranged.” The mutual understanding, respect, and trust that naturally evolve in an informally developed mentorship increase the chances that both parties will find the experience satisfying. “

Page 7, “Mentors never settle for mediocrity. Mentors should expect more of their protégés than their protégés typically expect of themselves. This raises their expectations and lifts their performance.”

Page 10, “If you could do only one thing as a mentor, affirm your protégés.”

Page 12, “Sometimes mentors can open doors that protégés cannot open for themselves. They can endorse protégés membership in important organizations, invite them to exclusive meetings, and endorse them for work on special or high-visibility projects.”

Page 17, “Encouragement and support are necessary throughout a mentoring relationship.”

Page 27, “Who is better suited than a mentor to nurture creativity? Mentors themselves are typically creative. They model creativity by pursuing unusual solutions to problems, questioning accepted standards in the field, and displaying energetic excitement in the face of challenge. They are first hand exemplars.”

Page 36, “Excellent mentors understand that the protégé whose only outlet is work is ill-prepared for life and that the protégé who specializes only in one focused area of work is ill-prepared for a career.

Page 40, “When it comes to being a mentor, talk is cheap. To say it bluntly: put your time where your mouth is or do not commit to mentorships.”

Page 64, “It may seem like a paradox, but from the outset, excellent mentors plan for development, change, and even ending a mentorship. Mentors must take a long-term perspective from the start.”

Page 79, “They (outstanding mentors) look for opportunities to promote and encourage the careers of junior minority personnel.”

Pages 81 and 127 discuss the phases of mentorships that management professor Kathy Kram has identified.

These are:





Page 88, “Because no legislative or monitoring body serves to hold those who mentor accountable, good mentors must be constantly self governing. Mindful mentors temper personal ambition with an orientation toward service and the protection of their protégés.”

Page 91, “Mentors who fail to care for themselves may reach a point where they are unable to care for their protégés. Eager to succeed, some mentors mistakenly disregard their own needs. But not even the greatest of mentors is superman or superwoman-just a capable human being. That is why mentors who endure over the long haul attend to their personal needs and consistently practice self-care.”

Page 93, “Outstanding mentors assume leadership roles in the field and are seen by peers as hard workers and innovators.”

Page 95, “Competence to mentor demands that mentors exude benign personality characteristics as well as a good measure of interpersonal savvy. Listening skills, warmth, caring, and preferably a sense of humor, are needed.”

Page 97, “All enduring relationships are based on trust. Trust is the fabric or glue that binds mentor and protégé together in a safe, productive, and committed relationship.”

Page 102, “Seasoned and successful members of any organization or profession are the most influential and potent developers of junior personnel.”

Page 105, “The key is that the humble mentor appreciates his or her assets as special gifts not as evidence of personal grandeur. Mentors of this ilk focus less on self-centered outcomes and more on the developmental needs of their protégés.”

Page 116, “The wise mentor balances confrontation with compassion.”

Page 130, “Healthy mentors appreciate the seasons of a mentoring relationship. They anticipate and gracefully tolerate relationship transitions and take the lead in discussing these with their protégés. Healthy mentors accept endings when mentorships have run their course and facilitate closure when it is time for a protégé to move on and function independently. Excellent mentors help their protégés to appreciate the past but also welcome the future.”

Page 131, “Preparing to say goodbye to a protégé is among the most often overlooked yet richly satisfying elements of successful mentoring. Quite often, only the most seasoned mentors carefully honor endings.”

Page 133, “Authentic mentors never stop mentoring.”


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