Did you know that on 27 October, the United Kingdom celebrates the so-called Mentoring Day? What an excellent occasion to thank those who inspired us and guided us in achieving something significant. For Marketers like you, it is crucial to rely on your leaders and mentors. But what is the actual difference between a leader and a mentor? Let’s have a look.
What is a leader?
Leaders are people who lead others in what is believed to be the right direction to success. Leaders are skilled problem solvers and capable of meeting decisions for the benefit of others. In business, in particular, they contribute significantly to its growth with their vision. Leaders are also great communicators and mastered how to stay calm and to focus on the positive while facing challenges. They inspire passion and actively motivate others to maintain long-term progress. As the list goes on and on, a remarkable feature that raises admiration is the leaders’ thrive on constant improvement. Leaders are actively seeking constructive feedback that will favor the team’s well-being.
What is a mentor?
Nowadays people very often tend to mention the importance of mentoring in the context of personal or business development. It has been around since the ancient Greeks and the Romans, but does anyone know its true meaning and purpose, really?
A mentor is a person who aims to help you to be your truest version. They tend to get to know you and use their knowledge and experience to guide and advise you in the direction you wish to go. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee, also known as mentorship, is often similar to the dynamic of a friendship. Very often it leads to a friendship, but also it can end after the mentee achieves the goal. The mentor is there to support the mentee’s decision without making him for them. It is very important to know that mentoring is about people and realizing the best version of yourself, which will lead to a crucial impact on your career. It might teach you new techniques or different ways of thinking, take you out of your comfort zone or simply share experiences. In addition, it is important to note that:
- A mentor is not your coach, therapist, or there to erase your struggles.
- A mentor should be an active listener, emphatic, and objective.
- A mentor values diversity of perspectives.
What is the difference between a mentor and a leader?
Despite the fact that both figures are influential and are there to help you succeed, there are some big differences.
- The first difference is the matter of authority and hierarchy. The relationship with a mentor is way more personal and casual than the one with a leader.
- The second difference is that leaders are focused on the good of the team or a specific goal, as your mentor is mainly concerned with you and your personal and professional development.
- Also, a leader will direct you to a certain action, whereas a mentor will give you the input and it is up to you how to act. That means that the level of freedom is not the same.
- Lastly, a leader knows what he wants, and when being asked, they can provide you with all the details. But a mentor will ask you a question for you to find the answer and define what you want.
After we drew the line, it is up to you to think about your mentor or if you need one. In case you already have a mentor, today is a very good occasion to show appreciation. In case you need one, think about who inspires you. Approach them and seek their guidance. You have all the power to become the leader that you want, maybe the piece of the missing puzzle is the right mentorship.