Do I Need a Mentor?

Many people have asked me about mentorship over the years. A mentor could be a business coach, someone you look up to or someone you can learn from on a regular basis. I see them as people you allow to speak into your life with advice, correction, encouragement and even warning. Over the years I have had people like this in my life – not on a formal basis, but as good friends and often trusted leaders I’ve listened to, met with and taken wisdom from.
How do you know if a mentor is worth pursuing?

Lessons from King Solomon

Back in history, the Queen of Sheba was probably the most successful businesswoman in the world of the time, controlling the mineral & spice routes near Yemen. Hearing of Solomon’s impressive achievements she was skeptical yet went to see for herself. She was ready to see and learn what she could.


Solomon answered all her questions “nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her” 1 Kings 10:3. A mentor should have tangible proof in their lives that they are wise.

  • Solomon built a kingdom worthy of respect and attention – look for what a potential mentor is building.
  • Solomon was able to provide for many people in his household. Look at how they provide and care for others – the people in their family and organization will mirror your mentor’s true wisdom and ability.
  • Solomon’s servants were well organized, their talents were well used. Look for those whose staff are well chosen and effective in what they do.
  • Solomon’s employees were well dressed. How do the employees of your potential mentor present themselves in professional situations?
  • Solomon enjoyed celebration, employing wine-bearers. Look for someone who takes time to enjoy life’s journey.
  • Solomon sacrificed many burnt offerings – he was a giver and honoured God. Has your potential mentor a generous nature that inspires others to do the same?

Mentorship can increase your momentum

Solomon gave the Queen (who had come with lavish gifts) much more than she had given him. A mentor can increase your momentum and, if you are open to learn, you will always leave with more than you had when you came.

No-one will be able to live up to all the criteria, in fact, look at Tiger Woods’ coach. His coach doesn’t play the tournaments and couldn’t outplay Tiger, however has an expert grasp of the fundamentals of the game. He can view Tiger’s performance objectively to give vital feedback improving his game.

Whether you invest in a formal mentor or coach, or simply those you respect and admire helping you on the journey, never discount their value. Be open to the right mentors and they will increase your momentum.

Peter Irvine
Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of ‘Win In Business’ and ‘Building your Business, your People, your Life’ and keynote speaker.

Find out about Peter’s new ‘Advise.Learn.Grow’ program:

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