Institute for Charitable Giving

blue rule

Seeking a Mentor or Coach

blue rule

Josh Bersin is a noted management consultant and an expert on corporate leadership. He was involved with General Electric— first with Jack Welch and then Jeffrey Immalt.

He wrote an article called Why Leaders Must Be Experts. One of the sections that stood out for me was his comment that everyone needs to find a coach. No matter what your rank or level in the organization. Here’s what he wrote:

“If you think back about your own career, you can probably think of one person (a manager, an executive, an advisor) who had a significant impact on making you who you are today. This person took some extra time to work with you, gave you some badly needed advice, and truly cared about your success.

“A coach is not a manager or supervisor, but rather someone who knows how to help you bring out the best you have. And this person has the uncanny ability to point out your weaknesses and help you learn to overcome them.

“We have coaches all around us. You should look for one and ask one of your colleagues to take time with you every quarter (or hire a professional executive coach, there are thousands of them). High performing companies are heavily invested in leadership coaching.”

You musn’t feel awkward or reticent about asking someone. I have found most are pleased to be asked.

Pick out someone you greatly admire and respect. Let them know why you chose them and how much time you believe it will take.


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