Have More Than One Mentor

Are you broadening your perspective with a diverse set of mentors?


Afshan Ali, founder of SkyHealth, shares why having multiple mentors is an important part of the leadership journey.

“Having more than one mentor is a way that you can get a diversity of ideas. Some can align with your industry, your competency, your interests and taking those perspectives as different,” she explains. 

Watch the video to learn more about how a diverse set of mentors can provide valuable input and perspective for you as a leader.

The people I choose as mentors are people who demonstrate high levels of integrity. Their communication, accessibility, advice, demonstration of their own work ethics in the context of their own lives shows integrity to me. And so that's why I put my trust in them and allow them to shape how I make decisions and change something tactical into something strategic so that I can apply that to my context of work.

Having more than one mentor is a way that you can get a diversity of ideas. Some can align with your industry, your competency, your interests and taking those perspectives as different. I'll have a very experienced mentor, you know, 40 years into their career in the same industry, and somebody who is, you know, slightly more experienced than I am, but has faced very similar challenges. And merging together the ideas and suggestions they give you when you're going through a challenge is pretty enlightening, because you can take pieces and perspectives and turn that into a solution and a plan to act and change so that you can come to a productive solution for your problem and overcome it with not just your own input, but those who know how the industry works, how the environment works and how it changes.

One of my mentors is the leading member of the first class of female officers in the U.S. Army. Her advice is very strategic. It takes a tactical problem and turns it into a solution in a very short turnaround. So when I go to her and address a particular problem, I come out with a plan, and it takes mentoring to a very effective level. So I trust her because she's very invested in the success of female entrepreneurs.

A lot of times it's about finding someone who sees problems the way you do or very differently than you do. You may need different qualities and different mentors. It's almost a matching or interview process that you have to do to get there, but putting yourself in the right organizations or environments to make that happen is the first step.

The next step for, you know, pursuing a mentorship relationship is reaching out and setting up a meeting, and then honoring the commitment of that meeting. The responsibilities of a mentee are following up when you say you will, following up on the actions in a timely way, providing the input of the outcomes of the last conversation you had, coming back with valuable information.

If you're a mentee who's asking a mentor for some strategic advice or an ongoing relationship, you want to define exactly what it is you're looking for, and you want to offer yourself and your skills to the mentor that you are interested in working with. So it may be that they have particular lines of work that they're working on and you have resources to offer to that. You may want to do that as well. And it can provide a growth experience for your mentor as well and for you.
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Afshan Ali

Afshan Ali is an innovative healthcare industry specialist. She is the founder of SkyHealth, and is a sought-after healthcare consultant. She is an accomplished leader with extensive healthcare, strategy, systems integration and imple...

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