On Mentoring

In my reading this morning, I ran across some thoughts from Brian Tracy, a well-known advisor/consultant to the world of business.  Tracy mentioned the importance of discipline (self-control) as an essential element in all successful people.  He quoted M. R. “Kop” Kopmeyer as he wrote of the importance of mentors in our lives.  As I read, my thoughts ran back over some of the mentors I’ve had and an thankful for their influence in my life, and I hope that I can be a ‘mentor’ as well as a parent to my own children, and maybe that influence can go beyond my immediate family and I can encourage others to grow into healthy, happy adults.  Tracy writes this gleaned from his study of Kopmeyer’s work (which is extensive, by the way):

‘M.R. “Kop” Kopmeyer, a respected success authority, once told me that perhaps the fastest way to get ahead was to study the experts and to do what they do, rather than trying to learn it all by yourself. In fact, he mentioned that no one lives long enough to learn everything he needs to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to help us learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.

“There are two vital qualities to look for in a mentor. The first is character and the second is competence.

‘Character is by far the most important. Look for a mentor who has the kind of character you admire and respect. Look for a person who has high degrees of intelligence, integrity, judgment and wisdom. The more you associate with men and women who are advanced in the development of their character, the more you will tend to pattern them and to become like them.

“The second quality you look for in a mentor is competence. This means that the person is extremely good at what he or she does. A good mentor in your career is one who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to move ahead far more rapidly than his or her peers.”

Imagine the power we might gain if we could find mentors at an early age and, through our relationship with that person, chart a course of success for our own lives.  Imagine that every child who comes into our schools encounters at least one person who establishes a caring relationship with him or her!  Would that be wonderful??

In my new book which I hope to have available very soon, I will speak of the three things a child has a right to expect when he/she enters school – a relationship with a caring adult, skills necessary for success in the 21st Century, and hope.  Each one of us could be a mentor for one of them – we can help kids know the pathways to successful living.


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