Mentoring Programme from Education Slot 29/07/10
In Greek mythology: Méntōr; gen.: was the son of Alcumus, in his old age, a friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War he placed Mentor in charge of his son, Telemachus and of his palace.
The first recorded modern usage of the term can be traced to a book entitled “Les Aventures de Telemaque”, by the French writer Francois Fenelon. In the book the lead character is that of Mentor. This book was published in 1699 and was very popular during the 18th century and the modern application of the term can be traced to this publication.
This is the source of the modern use of the word mentor: a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person. Some professions have ‘mentoring programmes’ in which newcomers are paired with more experienced people, who advise them and serve as examples as they advance. Schools sometimes offer mentoring programs to new students, or students having difficulties.
Today mentors provide expertise to less experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education, and build their networks. In many different arenas people have benefited from being part of a mentoring relationship.
The receiver of mentorship was traditionally referred to as a protégé or apprentice.
BNI now has a mentorship programme for new members and has formalised the process to ensure new member success and thus the success of the whole chapter.
This programme includes a mentor/mentee written agreement.
I visited the BNI ISIS chapter near Ealing in February. They have a very strong mentor programme there. One of the outcome of this is that they have grown their chapter in less than a year from just over 20 members to 38 members.
Referrals have exploded at BNI ISIS and there is a real energy and vibrancy in their chapter. Their success can also be attributed to strong, active ‘power groups’ in their chapter.
As a chapter in BNI Clerkenwell we are stronger as a team than individually. By mentoring new members we are acting as one united body rather than a group of individuals. We will sow the results in terms of referrals and business generated as a result of these referrals.
BNI is about giver’s gain and without new blood in our chapter and a formalised mentoring programme that mentors and mentees are held to account for, we will not grow our chapter. We will stagnate or shrink.
This is more about power teams than mentorship. I have an off market property in Sussex Gardens, W2, next to Hyde Park. Adam told me on Thursday he had a developer who could be interested.
We are now meeting up on Tuesday with the agent representing the private seller along with Adam’s developer colleague with a view to develop the 4 flats. This is a power team in action and our working as one body rather than individuals.
So I am inspired by 2 new developments at our chapter:
1. formalised mentor programme
2. power teams
I welcome your comments and suggestions.