Articles

The Mentor’s Way Rule #4: Good Questions Beat Good Advice

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. This post is the fourth in the series The Mentor’s Way, a set of guides for mentors who want to bring out the best in others. Often when we think of mentors, we think of people who dispense wise advice. After all, your mentor is someone who has more experience than you and can give you guidance on what to do. Many mentoring partnerships begin with a piece of sound advice that helps establish a mentor’s credibility. Over the long run, however, advice can become a trap for a mentor. Mentors who only give advice miss an opportunity...
Read More

The Mentor’s Way Rule #3: Create a Safe Place

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. This post is the third in the series The Mentor’s Way, a set of guides for mentors who want to bring out the best in others. Many mentors think their primary job is to give advice to their protégés. While advice can be an important tool of mentoring (although not as powerful as asking questions as we’ll see in the next rule of mentoring), the mentors that are most successful focus on building trust with a protégé. Every time I talk to mentors and protégés who had effective and satisfying experiences, they point to the trust that they...
Read More

Good Mentors are Precious Resources

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. In Barney’s (1991) classic article, a company’s competitive advantage comes from how it uses its distinctive resources. To be be valuable to a company, a resource needs to be valuable, rare, inimitable, and not easily substituted. These precious resources may take different forms. A consumer products company invests in building and maintaining its brand image and identity; think of the lengths Apple goes to to protect its logo and unique design. A retail establishment uses its location to offer convenience to customers that its competitors cannot; think about Walgreens and CVS fighting for every busy intersection...
Read More

Focus on Mentoring as Baby Boomers Near Retirement

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. We are facing a new reality as the economy improves: acceleration in the retirement of the baby boom generation. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants published a study in 2011 that found that the average baby boomer was postponing retirement for four to six years. Starting this year, it is estimated that 10,000 U.S. citizens a day will turn sixty-five, the traditional age of retirement. As the economy continues to improve, the baby boomers who postponed retirement when their 401k took a hit in 2008-2009 are going to start to create an influx of retirements over the next few...
Read More