Who's Your Personal Board of Directors?

The Power of Three

If you really want to make a difference with your leadership, you'll need people to challenge, encourage, and inspire you to greatness. In this post, Tony Bridwell, Partner and Practice Leader for Partners In Leadership, Inc., talks about the importance of having a personal board of directors who will walk ahead of you, behind you, and right by your side. Tony is the author of The Difference Maker: A Simple Fable About Making a Difference in the Life of Others and The Kingmaker: A Leadership Story of Integrity and Purpose.   

Tony says there’s not a lot of conversation about mentorship in the marketplace. How familiar are you with the idea of mentorship? Do you have any mentors? Are you a mentor to anyone?
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What value do you see or have you experienced in mentoring relationships? Have you ever had a mentoring relationship not "work"? What happened?
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When Tony coaches or teaches, he doesn't just suggest every leader have one person "older and wiser" to show them the ropes. He talks about mentorship in terms of having a board of directors, and he uses a term called “the power of three.” Tony thinks all leaders should have three people they are either mentoring or are being mentored by:
  1. Someone who is ahead of you on the journey of life who can provide wisdom for you. This mentor knows things you have yet to experience.
  2. Someone on the same path as you who will share your victories and successes. This mentor provides wisdom based on shared experiences.
  3. Someone slightly behind you who you mentor. In this relationship, you will pass along wisdom you have and end up learning just as much from your mentee as he/she learns from you. 

Who do you know, with more experience in life, who could offer helpful advice or be a potential mentor? What kind of wisdom do you think this person could add to your life?
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Do you have someone walking alongside you who you might be a good mentor? What makes you think they’d be good to have in a mentoring capacity, versus just as a friend or colleague?
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Who is someone in your field who you see potential in? What insight might you have to pass along to that person? What have you seen in this person that you could learn?
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How has this conversation on mentorship changed or added to your pre-existing thoughts on mentorship? What do you plan to do with this new knowledge?
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Tony said that mentorship protects us from blindspots and increases our effectiveness as leaders. He also said it’s a calling. As you consider mentoring, be prayerful about how you might personally expand your mentoring network. When we bring more people into our lives and work relationships, inevitably we will grow to be the leaders God is calling us to be.   

This post was taken from the 5-part course, The Difference Maker. To view the entire course, click here

Content for this post and the entire The Difference Maker course was based on Tony Bridwell’s book The Difference Maker: A Simple Fable About Making a Difference in the Life of Others. Find about more about Tony Bridwell, his book, and the difference-making principle here.