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Leave a Legacy

RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project.  He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.

Choosing the Right Mentor

Nov 23, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (11/19/2010)

Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday

A mentor/protégé relationship starts on common ground and grows with mutual respect. Mentor and protégé alike must possess a willingness to speak freely and share openly. In the right relationship, each plays an instrumental role in the other’s professional growth. 

For a protégé, using the following questions may help you identify the right mentor to augment your professional development plan: 

iStock Father Son1) Does the prospective mentor have enough of the right experience to offer real solutions and quality feedback for my most pressing concerns and questions?

2) Has the prospective mentor invested enough time in a vocation/project/role or endeavor to offer valuable feedback and support my efforts?

3) Success and failure are required learning experiences. Failure teaches more than success, yet the latter is always the goal. Has the prospective mentor recovered from failure and tasted victory?

4) The depth and breadth of a mentor’s experience will be partially based on his or her professional/vocational network. Does the prospective mentor have a plentiful network of professional/vocational associates?

5) Excessive commitments can interfere with our time and attention. Does the mentor candidate have a number of other interests or obligations that may detract from an otherwise constructive relationship?

6) A mentor should own/manage/work in an operation that is comparable in size and structure and complementary in scope to your vision. Does the mentor candidate fit this description?

7) Specific location is important only if you or the mentor feel that eye-to-eye contact is the only way to communicate. Otherwise, technology allows us to create relationships literally around the globe. Will your mentor/protégé relationship only work in-person? 


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