INT 101: How to Find a Mentor Who’s Right for You

A mentor can guide you and help you learn from the mistakes that they have already made. On today’s episode of Interrupt, Linda talks with Dethra Giles, the CEO of Execuprep, about how to find a mentor that is right for you. They discuss what mentors are, how they have impacted Dethra’s career, how to find the right mentor and more. 

What is a mentor?

  • Dethra defines a mentor as a person that can allow their hindsight to be your foresight with their mental, spiritual, and even financial support. 
  • Mentors need to understand their commitment and mentees need to understand what they are asking of their mentor. 
  • Before you ask someone to be your mentor, ask yourself “Am I loan-worthy?”
  • The mentor and the mentee need to make sure that it is a good fit. 

How have mentors impacted Dethra and her career?

  • Mentors have opened doors for her, given her direction, and stopped her from going in the wrong direction. 
  • She believes that her mistakes have decreased significantly because of her mentors. 

How can you find the right mentor?

  • It’s trial and error. We are often afraid to mess up or pick the wrong person. In the presence of fear, we default to inactivity.
  • Be very clear about the criteria that you want and don’t want. 
  • You should always be on the lookout for a mentor so that you decrease the number of mistakes that you will make in your career. 

When should you change mentors?

  • Sometimes the mentor relationship needs to change and you can’t ignore that. 
  • The shifting of a mentor relationship happens quite often. Dethra has had many mentors who shifted into colleagues. 
  • A mentorship can become toxic if the information starts to become detrimental to your career, intentionally or unintentionally. 
  • A mentor is no longer needed if the gap they were filling has now been filled. Start with the end in mind. Define what success looks like, how you know when to end your relationship, and what the end will look like. 

How can you be a better mentor? 

  • Identify what you have to offer. Before Dethra took on her first mentee she made a checklist of what she had to offer. 
  • Be honest about the time you have to commit to a mentee. 

When has Dethra been interrupted? 

  • Dethra believes that all interruptions are not created equal, they are not all bad. 
  • Throughout her career, Dethra had children, a huge but great interruption. 
  • She also had unplanned interruptions, including when she came to the realization that her work did not speak for her. It took her a minute to accept that and change her belief system. 

Dethra’s biggest piece of advice?

  • Fail. If failure is not an option, you will only try things you are 100% certain will be successful at. Everything you want is outside of where you are comfortable. 
  • Fail often, fail fast, and recover. 

For more content from Dethra, check out her podcast and website. Do you have stories to tell? Connect with Linda to share them. This podcast is produced by TSE Studios. Check out other podcasts by TSE Studios, including this episode’s sponsor, The Sales Evangelist, helping new and struggling sellers close more deals and achieve their sales goals. Subscribe to the IntHERrupt Podcast so you won’t miss a single show. Find us on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher. Audio created by Ryan Rasmussen Productions

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