Welcome to Worksheet, a newsletter about how people are working smarter in these turbulent times.
Every week, this newsletter will share analysis on the state of work by S. Mitra Kalita, a veteran media executive, author, and journalist.
In this week’s edition, Kalita sheds light on how to maximize the mentor/mentee relationship.
I decided to leave my senior-management job last year to launch my own startup. Once the initial shock wore off, my boss and I dived into the transition and handoffs of my teams, responsibilities and unfinished projects. Then she asked for one last thing: a presentation to colleagues on mentoring.
“That’s your superpower,” she said.
The exercise forced me to reflect and examine my leadership style in a different way. Mentorship, both the give and take, was not just consistent in my career but a cornerstone of its success.
Mentors gave me the confidence to embrace risk (including starting my own business), while mentees consistently change my world view, disrupt my comfort level, expose me to new platforms and technologies.
Indeed, research shows career mentoring has reciprocal benefits and is not only beneficial for proteges.”
Fresh from her time running a large team in a Fortune 10 company, Kalita shares the lessons learned to support the shift from manager to mentor. That wisdom ranges from how to uplift young workers, mentoring Black and Brown talent, addressing office “chemistry” issues, and how to deal with tongue-tied mentees.