What Is A Real Leader?

Real Leaders recognize leadership is a relationship between you and your employees. You have to value their well being, their effort, their successes like you would your family.
Leadership is being a coach and mentor just like you would coach your grandchildren – sharing respect and security; feeding their desire to grow… knowing there is always a learning curve.
Leadership is knowing that even though you may be an expert, we live in a culture of change and there is always something new to learn…. or you risk falling behind.
Real leadership is communicating with people as they are… not as if they were you – with your goals, your knowledge, your stresses. Leaders recognize people are individuals and do not wish to be mini-clones of you.
Leadership recognizes everyone has emotions – they do not freeze when they (or you) walk through the door. Leaders also recognizes the relationships you need to nourish and respect are based on emotions. Trust is an emotion; so is Motivation and so is Respect… and the list continues.
Leaders build relationships that last… and the foundation of a leaders legacy… the foundation of a leaders personal and professional brand is their ability to build trusting, respectful relationships while motivating the people around them to achieve their greatest potential.
Real leaders are not perfect… but they try and are transparent of their shortfalls as well as their efforts and their successes. Leaders know their vulnerability only builds greater loyalty from others.
Real leaders want to make a positive lasting impact in the lives of their employees as well as their suppliers, customers and shareholders.
Real leaders never want to make a positive lasting impact at the expense of their employees, suppliers, customers and shareholders.

What we do every day of our lives is what matters.

We hope you enjoyed this post.

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Generational Differences, Leadership Skills, Motivation Skills, Difficult Conversation Training, Business Email Etiquette, Time Management, Mindfulness and more.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.


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Bruce Mayhew Consulting

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How To Find A Mentor

No matter where you are in your career you want a role that’s fulfilling and hopefully you also want to be inspired and challenged (most of us do). You also want to work for a company that eagerly supports your professional development.

How do you fulfill your dreams and aspirations – especially in this big world? How do you learn about the things you don’t even know exist? How do you keep yourself motivated in the work you are doing now when all you feel like you do is push push push?

A mentor is a powerful way for you to invest in your professional growth and personal fulfillment.

Perhaps the company you work for has a formal mentoring program – that is great; if you can get into them formal mentoring programs help match you with a company mentor. If your company doesn’t have a formal program you will have to find a mentor outside of your company (I suggest you find one outside your company even if you do have a formal company program).

Choose A Mentor

How do you choose a mentor? Here are 4 quick explanations on how to find a mentor (or two), to help you answer questions and navigate your career.

Step 1. What Do You Want To Learn?

What are your goals? What do you want to learn? Where do you need to be more motivated? The more you know about your objectives the more you will get out of your time with your mentor. A good place to start is to ask yourself what you want. Do you want:

  • To get better at what you do now? If so, think about people who do similar work as you.
  • To learn about other opportunities? If so, think about people who do work you think you might like.

A good mentor can be a great sounding board… or devil’s advocate.

Step 2. Explore / Do Research

Look around for a mentor prospect and explore mentor qualities. Is there someone you know who you admire (either in the company or not)? Is there someone you have heard of that you would like to learn from?

Perhaps you are looking for someone who will share your passion for social justice. Does your mentor prospect have a similar personality as you do? I recommend exploring their values and make sure they are similar to your own. What motivates them? The quality of your mentors is really important because you have to trust what they say… and likely… their discretion.

Before you both commit, get to know each other. Being well matched is important because you have to trust them and believe their advice is sound. Your mentor will have some influence on your future viewpoints, beliefs and behaviours. That said, I recommend you don’t choose someone who has the same background, history and lifestyle as you. I believe a great mentor is someone who has different life experiences and/or a different personality than you; perhaps they come from a different cultural background, perhaps a different industry, perhaps they are more creative. For example, if you are naturally cautious and reserved, a mentor who is a bit more aggressive may be helpful for you… that you can rely on. Equally, if you jump first ask questions later, a mentor who is more thoughtful and reflective may be a nice fit.

Not all mentors will be the same. So, if you are feeling really adventurous and may want more than one mentor. For example:

  • You may want to meet regularly with a successful person outside of your industry because their ‘fresh eyes’ into your world may provide amazing insight.
  • You may want a mentor you can use for 911 emergency calls; someone who you can ask a specific question, get their honest opinion and then hang up. This is a bit unusual, but still highly valuable.

Step 3. Make The Ask

Being a mentor or having a mentor doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or formal. It can be as simple as agreeing to go for coffee once or twice a month and perhaps also being on-call if you suddenly have an emergency or a major question.

Ask your prospect mentor for a casual coffee or lunch. This is the time for each of you to evaluate the other. Let them know you admire them and are looking for a mentor and would like them to consider being that person. Share you expectations and abilities. If they seem interested but don’t really have the time you were hoping for (so put them on call for emergency situations).

If you both agree to move forward, my recommendation is to keep your meetings somewhat informal… but have at least one preferred outcome per meeting. It’s likely you are both going to be busy, so allow some flexibility. I find phone meetings surprisingly helpful and efficient… I didn’t expect that at the start. I thought they would feel cold and impersonal. That said – I also recommend getting together fact-to-face from time to time.

Step 4. Know When To Move On

As the song goes, “You got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em” (my dad would be so proud). At some point your mentor and you may decide to part… or you both may become best friends. Either way – be fully present. Don’t hold on longer than you should… it may be that you’ve done as much as you can together and now it’s time for them to help someone else.

If you part ways don’t think that should be the end. Be on the lookout for your next mentor, you are never too experienced – you can always benefit from good advice. 

It also may be time for you to mentor someone and give back. Being a mentor can be as helpful as having a mentor. One of the great motivators for Millennials at work is when they can help / coach / mentor one of their associates. This helps build their leadership skills and will also likely increase their loyalty to your company (for a year or two longer).

One Final Thing

People love to help other people. It helps them feel fulfilled. It’s how you ask and what you expect from them that will impact your success. Still, you have to mind your manners. After each meeting send a thank you note.

Mentors have wisdom and share experiences. To me, that’s what mentorship is: drawing from that wisdom and potentially learning from their successes.

Go…. enjoy.


We hope you enjoyed this post. Happy mentoring and climbing the corporate ladder everyone.

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Generational Differences, Business Writing, Email Etiquette, Time Management and Mindfulness.

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Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.

View Bruce Mayhew's profile on LinkedIn

Bruce Mayhew Consulting

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.


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