A mentor-apprentice guide from www.findamentor.org
Mentoring is free and coaching is done for a fee. Mentors are our friends helping us learn in a casual environment.
Contents Click on a chapter title for expanded definitions.
Introduction Scroll down on this page.
- What is Networking?
- What is a Mentor?
- What is an Apprentice?
Networking: An informal system whereby persons having common interests or concerns assist each other, as in the exchange of information or the development of professional contacts.
Mentor: A wise and faithful councilor.
- Webster's New School And Office Dictionary
Apprentice: A beginner, a learner.
It is wise to be mentors in what we're good at and to be apprentices in what we want to be good at.
- Michael Alexander
Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich shares a story about Henry Ford. While Hill was gathering material for a book about how to become wealthy, he took an opportunity to analyze the famous automaker.
Henry Ford was in court suing a Chicago newspaper for libel. The newspaper called him "an ignorant pacifist" because he had very little education. Ford defended himself by asking why it was necessary to clutter his mind with general knowledge for the purpose of answering questions that did not concern his objectives. All he had to do, he explained, was push a button on his desk and he could summon to his aid men who could answer any question he posed.
Ford was a wise man, and I'm sure every time he pushed that button to ask a question, he learned something. Imagine having a network of mentors available at the push of a button!
The best mentors are the best apprentices. Henry Ford spent his life questioning and learning. Did he ever stop being an apprentice? I doubt it. And I'm certain he was a mentor to many.
Like Henry Ford, we are all mentors and apprentices to some degree, and we have each created a communication network that we tap into to fill our needs. Mentoring occurs when we pursue a desire to share our experience and help others. Apprenticing happens when we have respect for others and desire to learn from their experiences. Networking happens when these two desires meet.