This is an article that I wrote back in June that was not published until now. I feel it is even more appropriate today.
Leadership, Accountability and Mentoring
Woody Wood 6/30/08
• Everybody needs a LEADER!!!
Leaders come in many shapes and sizes with many attributes. A Leader is someone you are willing to learn from and to follow, who can take you to a higher place than where you are now. A leader can give you the How To but not the Why To for doing things to improve your life.
I have never met a person that I could not learn from but I have met lots of people whom I don’t want to emulate and would not follow. A GOOD leader is one who not only inspires you to learn from them and follow them, but also one you will want to emulate. Famous people have said “…I am not here to be an example to…(anyone)”, but that is simply not true. EVERYONE is an example, good or bad! We must be wise enough and discerning enough to be able to decide which they are. Some are easy to see, others not so easy.
To be a teacher or a coach does not require willing students. If you are a GOOD teacher or coach you will inspire willingness in your students by your leadership characteristics.
To be a mentor is something else altogether. To be a Mentor you must be chosen by the Mentee. There are two kinds of mentorship, direct and remote. Remote mentorship tends toward idolization or hero worship. We find this type among professional athletes and performers. People choose to be “just like them” even though they are unaware of the attachment. The preferable type of mentorship is the direct type where the Mentee chooses the Mentor. This would come from personal contact by saying something like
“ I see in you something that I want to emulate in order that I may become more like you, will you teach me?” It is sometimes called Discipleship. Not always will the Mentor choose to accept the discipling of another. It is a very demanding and time consuming job which many refuse to accept. A wise person who accepts the role of Mentor will attach strings to the mentor/mentee relationship. The most important string is Accountability. When I say ‘I want to be your disciple’, I should automatically be saying, ‘I am willing to be accountable to you’. As a Mentor you should automatically be saying, “I am willing to spend my time and effort with you and I will be accountable to you for doing that.” Mentorship is an awesome responsibility, not to be taken lightly. Mentors agree to shape the future of another person’s life. Without dual accountability, what you have is a ‘catch as catch can’ relationship that may or may not produce good results.
• Everyone needs someone!!!
Someone that they are willing and able to be 100% accountable to. Someone to whom they can tell ANYTHING no matter how personal or painful or embarrassing. Someone from whom they can hear the TRUTH no matter how painful or rewarding.
Most men and many women do not have such a person in their life, therefore they go from day to day making the same mistakes over and over because they have not asked or allowed anyone else to speak truth into their lives.
• To be successful we must!!!
1. Find a mentor who will disciple us.
2. Find an accountability partner (if not the mentor) with whom we can share at the Gut level.
3. Build ourselves up to where someone else will want us to mentor them.
4. Build relationships with others such that they will want to follow us as leaders.
MENTORS BUILD LEADERS WHO BUILD LEADERS WHO BUILD LEADERS….
Remember this: If you agree to be mentored (discipled) you must learn to deal with the pain of truth without dropping out or quitting. It is ok to get angry, but not at the Mentor. The mentor is the messenger and not the cause of the anger. Don’t blame anyone, just get mad enough to make the personal changes in your life that are necessary for you to WIN.