“Reaching the level where your life’s work and mission continue in perpetuity requires not only being a leader yourself, but developing the people who follow you to be effective leaders as well” (Rath & Concie, Strengths-Based Leadership).
This quote speaks to many important points, but one that seemed clear to me, is that mentoring is a pathway to establishing a legacy. We do so by focusing our attention on others, pouring energy and time into them and being trusted mentors.
I especially see the importance of this when serving and leading what I call “twenty-somethings”. These young professionals and university students have terrific energy, passion, and a desire to change the world for the better. They have emerging talents and strengths that can be leveraged by them to advance their careers and futures and also serve the organizations and communities they are a part of.
With all the energy and talents they possess, there is also benefit in connecting with someone who can be a positive influence and a sounding board when they have questions. When an older, more experienced mentor is willing to meet them where they are, shoulder-to-shoulder, and serve them (rather than lecturing or talking down to them about “the good old days”) some pretty valuable things can happen for both the mentor and the mentee.
As we grow and learn in our lives and careers, the more we do for others, and model servanthood to them, the greater example, impact and legacy we leave. When we do that, our influence continues through them and those that they serve, because we took the time to try and show them what a humble, servant leader, actually looks like.