A young teenage boy after completing his high school education finds himself contemplating what is next for his life. He ends up working for his mother’s milk delivery business, although that is not what he has envisioned for his future.. Where he comes from, people run. They are good at it and have won multiple awards including gold medals in the Olympic Games. The young lad though more interested in volleyball decides to give a shot at running. Besides, he has been doing it as a means of mobility to and from school all his life.
One day he shows up in the local field where the rest of the runners train. He gets his self-guided training done. From talking to his fellow runners, some amateurs and others seasoned, he learns about a man who coaches a few of them. He gathers the courage and approaches the man. He tells him he wants to run better and possibly win some awards that come with lots of cash. The coach is kind to him. Draws up a schedule for his daily training and asks him to report back on his progress after two weeks. The coach keeps a close eye on the lad. Two weeks later the boy returns with the outcome of his two-week-long training.
The coach is super impressed with the boy’s records and what he has achieved all by himself. He decides to take him under his wing and train him. The boy goes on to win many running awards. Most notable, the Olympic Gold medal and world record holder in the marathon distance. That boy is the famous Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge. And that man, the phenomenal coach is Patrick Sang. The two have remained as a team for over twenty years now.
This only goes to show that all of us need to find inspiration and coaching from a mentor if we are to succeed and reach the next level of our goals. It is safe to say that without Patrick Sang, there is and probably would have never been an Eliud Kipchoge. Kipchoge himself admits to this fact in various interviews.
What then should the mentee do to attract the right mentor who will help them succeed in whatever pursuit they are pursuing? The first is to have and demonstrate great potential on your own. A mentor cannot pour into an empty cup. There has to be a motion already in progress. A promise that their time and expertise invested will not go in vain. Before going out to look for mentors, have something of substance to show.
Secondly, identify the right mentor. The best way to go about this is to look for industry leaders in your space or the achievement space you desire to get into. Research about them. Verify why it is that particular individual who would make a good mentor for you.
Thirdly, reach out. Unless you take initiative and reach out, you might not connect with the right mentor. Rarely will the mentor come looking for you. And even if that does not bear the desired outcome you can repeat the same cycle until you find the right mentor.
Mentorship is the fuel you need to get better structure, knowledge, and wisdom to achieve the goal you set out for yourself.
By Muindi Kimanzi