Maintain the Mentor Relationship

As in any relationship, the wooing is just part of the effort.  Much energy is needed on the back-end to maintain a healthy mentoring relationship.  It must be consistently nurtured and often refreshed – these tasks fall specifically to the protégé.  Meeting deadlines, exceeding expectations, and consistent advancement are all vital to keeping a sponsor interested and motivated to promote your skills and career.

Another great way to strengthen your sponsor relationship – become one yourself!  Harnessing and growing talent is arguably the best demonstration of leadership ability and potential.  Tiger Tyagarajan is now the CEO of Genpact took this to heart.  He was a protégé of the previous CEO and distinguished himself by building highly effective teams from scratch.  “I had to hire people with background and depth and then sell them a vision, because I was putting them into what looked like a small job and making it their business to grow it,” he recalls.  “My ability to attract big people, get them excited, and keep them excited was one of the main drivers of my career.”  HBR October 2011.

Sponsors can also strengthen relationships with their protégés by continuing to take an interest in those successful advancements and supporting them as they move forward even after the formal mentoring relationship has expired.  Those associates can return the favors and keep lines of communication open across organizational divisions and programs.

A mentoring relationship is a great place to start healthy collaboration in your organization.  In our next blog we can take a look at how to build a collaborative team environment.


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