Do I Need a Mentor?

Something has led you to ask some version of the question “do I need a mentor?” Here you are.


Consider doing this:


  • Make a list. This list should include your goals for what you’d like to have as an end result of having a mentor. For instance, do you want greater discipline and more focus? Do you wish to achieve a broader capacity for staying calm under intense pressure? The list could include all sorts of ways you may wish to self-lead and lead others at a higher level and to a greater end result.

  • Who do you envision as your mentor? Make sure the person you have in mind has consistent behavior that matches the list of traits you envision.

  • Create a list! What do you want to gain from a mentor. Examples might include coaching on effective communication strategies, someone to listen to my current challenges and provide honest, direct feedback, and introductions to people of influence in my industry or community.

  • Think through the approach you’ll utilize to ask the prospective mentor to mentor you. Will you wait until you see them in a social setting, ask for an in-person appointment by email, or use another method?

  • How will you measure your success with mentorship? Be ready to share your your list of goals for the mentorship and the time that you’re requesting over a specified period (e.g. 60 minutes of in-person time once a month at their office for 9 months. Or 1.5 hours over lunch once a month, for 12 months.) The mentor candidate will be more likely to agree if you are very specific with your ask and they can see you value their time with specific outcome metrics.



Listen to this quick-moving, 31 minute, free podcast interview with a person who has both been a mentor and had mentors. It is filled with helpful, practical information about mentorship.




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For over 40 years Ken Chapman & Associates, Inc. has been making a measurable difference in the corporate cultures of American businesses and in the lives of their team members. KC&A’s value equation is “Committed to People, Profit, and More.”

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