Recently I had a chance to speak to the National Association of Women Business Owners mentoring group here in Phoenix. During my talk, I spoke to them about the importance of setting SMART goals. The response to my session was overwhelmingly positive, and it reminded me of how important it is for executives to volunteer. Here are five reasons you should consider volunteering to mentor:
1. Helps You Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Mentoring can help you break out of your comfort zone because as an executive, you’ll benefit from a learning environment that is not possible under other circumstances. You have to find ways to use your gifts to add value to an organization that might be different from the ones you’re used to working with. This forces you to stretch yourself to tackle new problems from different angles, an indispensable skill for executives.
2. Gain More Perspective
Volunteering gives executives an opportunity to work with different people on new challenges, allowing you to gain a fresh perspective. If your business is going to be an industry leader, you will have to help lead the way. Partnering with other organizations through volunteering to mentor can help you expand your idea frameworks, giving you profound new perspectives that can help shape both your personal and professional lives.
3. Networking Opportunities
Volunteering to mentor provides executives with opportunities to meet new people with different backgrounds, experiences, and approaches. Since most volunteers also have regular day jobs, there are also additional opportunities for networking and making career connections with other executives. The adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is true. Volunteering will give you the chance to build new relationships and broaden your network of connections, who just might think of you the next time an opportunity arises.
4. Open the Doors to Product and Service Possibilities You Haven’t Thought Of
Becoming too focused on your own field means you can lose touch with what’s going on elsewhere, a possible career-killer for many top executives. Volunteering allows you to interact with people from other fields, companies, and disciplines, which can expose you to different ideas about products and services.
Mentoring gives you the opportunity to practice skills you may not normally use. With the right volunteer position, you can experiment with setting a vision, developing strategies to achieve your vision, raising funds, motivating people, and reconciling conflicting personalities. These essential executive skills will make you a better leader, and you can take these new skills back to your job, making you a more valuable executive.
Business executives can gain a lot from volunteering to mentor, according to Mark Horoszowski , co-founder of MovingWorlds.org, in his article on Huffington Post. The skills and experience you gain volunteering can be directly transferred to your workplace. Volunteering can make you and your team better and more effective. Solving problems in new environments, watching how other leaders lead, and working with different teams in new ways will all help you do your job better.
I can help you set up an effective mentoring program in your organization. Contact me to learn more.