Many would be champions struggle to access some celebrated heroes and wonder how they can be mentored by these. This article shows how to gain access from these mentors easily. We discuss model contemporary mentor.
This is a passive mentor. It can be somebody you admire from a distance because he inspires you. But you do not have a solid relationship with him. Nigel Chanakira, the founding CEO of Kingdom Financial Holdings, is one of my heroes. I admire his entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to charity. It took a while for us to have a closer relationship particularly since he was domiciled outside Zimbabwe. We communicated by e-mail. I followed his exploits from press reports. He was a model and hero. But with time it was possible when he returned home to be able to establish a relationship that is closer. By learning from a distance and following his exploits – I later managed to gain access. He has spoken at our Champions Turf gatherings.
This is a person you see from a distance and exerts passive influence on your life. As you study everything about him, even though you don’t have a relationship, you still derive value. Of course the value you derive is limited. But it’s a starting point.
I have a number of Zimbabwean business executives that fall into this category. I have benefited from some of their wisdom by inviting them to guest lecture to my MBA students. The strategy of inviting them for lectures added value both to the students and to me. Some of these who have been kind enough to guest lecture for me were Joe Mtizwa of Delta Corporation, Shingai Mutasa of TA Holdings and Patterson Timba of Renaissance Holdings. Just last year all these have spoken at our Champions Turf Dinners. Sometimes attending these kinds of functions will also give one leverage and bring you to the attention of movers and shakers. Many young champions have been mentored by attending these informal learning dinners.
Hebrews 13:7-8 says to consider the lives of your leaders who have gone before you and imitate their examples. This is where you are following and imitating their footsteps without necessarily the benefit of a closer personal relationship. Most pastors are contemporary models for their flock since it is not practical for them to maintain a close mentoring relationship with everybody in the church. Senior corporate executives may also be contemporary models to someone within the organization.
However if the things you want from that person are crucial to your destiny, you must create strategies of getting close to that person and convert him from just a contemporary model to a close relationship that can maximize your learning. A friend of mine wanted to get closer to his contemporary model. He bought enough shares in the model’s publicly listed company until he sneaked his way onto the corporate board. He thus had immediate access to his hero and now the mentoring relationship is more active. That’s strategizing. It may cost you financially to get into the kind of mentoring relationship you desire. If you want it desperately and are convinced that the relationship is an important link to your destiny, then you should not hesitate to invest your financial resources to attain it. However one should not seek to bribe his way into such a relationship as this is both unethical and detrimental in the long run.
We have thus proven that it is possible to learn from a distance while strategising to get closer to a potential mentor for maximum benefit.