Mentor Monday: Corporations Have a Board of Directors; Individuals Need a Board of Mentors

Guest Post: Miguel A. Llano is responsible for new business development and social media strategy at Martino Flynn, a marketing, PR, and digital media agency based out of Rochester, NY.

Photo cred: Varnent
Photo cred: Varnent

In a recent post by David, he wrote on the topic of a reverse mentor. In my comment on this post, I stated that it is important for people to develop a board of advisors, which David quickly renamed “Board of Mentors”.

A corporate Board of Directors is usually made up of individuals that have formed influential relationships, have been successful, and have some sort of expertise that can be used to make decisions that are in the best interest of the shareholders (or owners of the company).  A Board of Mentors can provide the same benefits to a young adult. The value of having experienced individuals of all ages from different industries, education levels, and ethnicities can be unparallel.

As David has stated before in some of his other “Mentor Monday” posts, some people may know that they are your mentor, others may not. Here is a quick list of some of the individuals on my “Board of Mentors”:

Luis Martinez (@Quick37): A career coach and published author with many years of corporate HR experience.

Iveth Reynolds (@TriMarConsult): The CEO of her own company and heavily involved in non-profit work.

Julio Ahumada (@JulioMAhumada): A marketing biz dev executive and networking mad man.

Jim Reynolds (@JimmyRey): A business development manager with start-up experience and a technology juggernaut.

David Spinks (@DavidSpinks): The token “reverse mentor”.

(There are more, but to conserve space, I will stop here.)

These five individuals have all helped me in one way, shape, or form.  Each one comes from a different background and has different strengths. Almost any possible business scenario could be covered by the experiences and/or knowledge of one or any combination of these individuals.

Who is on your “Board of Mentors”? Do you think that there should be a limit to the number of mentors an individual has?

View all Mentor Monday posts.

16 thoughts on “Mentor Monday: Corporations Have a Board of Directors; Individuals Need a Board of Mentors

  1. Great post! I really like the whole idea of the “Board of Mentors, and I think its important to have mentors from different areas of your life, like a coach, a teacher, as well as a boss or career advisor. And I don’t think there needs to be a limit on how many mentors you have, as long as you can sustain meaningful relationships with them. Why limit the number of people who have help and inspire you?

    1. Thank you for the compliment! I think we both are on the same page. You were spot on with the ability to sustain a meaningful relationship. However, if a mentor does not know that they are classified as one, it may be more difficult. Social media is a great way to strengthen relationships.

    2. I think you should have a core few (a board) that you are able to connect with on a regular basis, and truly build the relationship. Outside of your board, there are no limits. You can have a mentor that you’ve only talked to a couple times, a mentor that doesn’t even know they’re your mentor, and so on… It’s about interacting, helping, and learning.

  2. Great Post! Honored to be on your Board of Mentors. I would recommend an individual Mission/Vision statement to serve as your career compass. Like corporation, an individual should have this to help manage their brand and career.

    1. I like that a lot. Kind of like your mission statement that you put on your resume. This will help your mentors give you guidance in a manner that is meaningful to your career.

  3. It’s really an interesting concept, to have a board of mentors, because it means that you have a goal in mind, and specifically target people from different backgrounds to provide yourself with a broad range of mentorial resources.

    To this point, I have considered myself grateful for having many of my mentors. Never did I really seek out a mentor though. It was always more of a natural process where I connected, and the relationship developed.

    You should have a goal in mind though. I will make a point to connect with possible mentors in other backgrounds now, as surrounding yourself with different points of views makes you a “well-rounded” professional.

  4. Love the idea of board of mentors. The one thing that nags at me when it comes to mentors… I feel like it’s a one-sided relationship with the mentee getting most of the benefits (hence, my discomfort with trying to find a mentor). But I am sure I am not seeing the full picture.

    It’s wise that you picked them from diverse backgrounds, David.

    1. I think many people share the same idea of a mentorship as you, Meryl. In my opinion, any healthy mentor mentee relationship should provide benefits to both ends. The concept of a reverse mentor is a reality, if a mentor keeps their mind open to learning from a mentee.

      I think there are a number of reasons why a mentor would find value from mentoring others. (Browse through the mentor monday posts here, and you’ll see I talk about it a lot)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    2. Meryl,

      You have nothing to worry about. A mentor mentee relationship is definitely not one sided. In fact, the mentor can also learn from the mentee, creating a reverse mentor (See David’s post from a few weeks back).

      Being a mentor is very rewarding and fulfilling experience. Especially if you are able to assist the mentee and help them accomplish their goals. I still remember one experience from coaching lacrosse over ten years ago. I’m sure your mentors would be happy to assist you in reaching your goals and sometimes help you celebrate too!

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