Mentoring, learn from the folly of not – – –

It is shocking to suddenly realise one’s own folly, and it is really sad to witness the folly of someone close.

Oh how easy it is to push ahead with what we want to do from day to day and hope that we will achieve what we have been hoping to fulfil. This is folly.

Recently I have been reflecting on the dilemmas of people who have set-out with best intentions and then discovered that things are not going so well. Often this means ignoring the work underway with their mentor and often it is because the person has no mentor and so is trying to proceed alone.

Some partners started a business without a cohesive plan, only one had a mentor – now the business is failing with grim prospects for any financial recovery. Another start-up business rushed the vision and planning phase immediately into action-startup without consultation – now they are in ‘catchup’ mode, trying to backfill on necessary planning. A person with an innovative business idea would not spend time on the reality of vision and planning – so a possible business is stalled. The folly of rushing ahead.

5 lessons can be learned here, to avoid this folly – and I hope these are practical and helpful for you.

  1. A key lesson that you can gain from this reflection is to realise that it is generally possible to review and recalibrate from where you are now.
  1. It’s not worth the pain and guilt to worry about what has or hasn’t happened with this project you are on. Worry is a killer of inspiration and productivity, so do not dwell in worry.
  1. Ignoring plans that you have set means that you are overriding your own best intentions as well as the concurrence of your mentor at the time you set your plans.
  1. An essential lesson is to take personal responsibility for going off-course. This will release you to take responsibility to make the change necessary to reset your course. Your mentor can help you, support you and even provide a check, but the mentor cannot make the changes for you.
  1. An obvious lesson coming from the folly of missing the mark is to be sure you do have a mentor and that you have a process of review and update with your mentor. If you do not have a mentor, then now is the time to engage with one. If you already have a mentor, then now is the time to get back into the process.

I hope you can take heed of one or more of these points and reflect on your own mentoring situation. Get a mentor if you do not already have one. Be sure to continue the engagement process with the mentor you have already.

You can avoid the folly of missing the way to your vision

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