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Mentors & Supporters

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a great bookstore called “2nd & Charles.” They buy, sell, and trade books, music, and video games. Outside of the front doors, 2nd & Charles has a basket of free books that anyone can browse through and take home. I normally look for reads in the areas of leadership, sociology, psychology, theology, as well as anything else that grabs my attention. After all, who doesn’t love free books?

Yesterday, I found a book by leadership sage John Maxwell hidden beneath a stack of other books. It's called Leadership Gold. In it, Maxwell says few leaders are successful unless a lot of people want them to be. Most of the people who help leaders succeed fall into two categories: mentors and supporters.

Concerning mentors, he says (I've added some examples):

  • Some helped me who never knew me.

  • ​Books/Biographies

  • Videos/Documentaries

  • Stories

  • Movies

  • Some who knew me never knew they helped me.

  • ​Teachers

  • Coaches

  • Employers

  • Pastors

  • Family

  • Friends

  • Some knew me and knew they helped me.

  • ​Supervisors

  • Coaches

  • Colleagues

  • Senior pastors

  • Principals

Concerning supporters, he says there are:

  • Time Relievers- people who save me time

  • Gift Complementers- people who do things I am not gifted to do

  • Team Players- people who add value to me and my team

  • Creative Thinkers- people who solve problems and give me options

  • Door Closers- people who complete assignments with excellence

  • People Developers- people who develop and raise up other leaders and producers

  • Servant Leaders- people who lead with the right attitude

  • Mind Stretchers- people who expand my thinking and my spirit

  • Relational Networkers- people who bring other people into my life who add value to me

  • Spiritual Mentors- people who encourage me in my faith walk

  • Unconditional Lovers- people who know my weaknesses, yet love me unconditionally

I’m going to take time to reflect on those who have mentored and supported me throughout my life. Then, I will be intentional about acknowledging them for their contributions.

What about you? Who are the people that have mentored and supported you?

"Behind an able man are always other able men [and women]." -Chinese Proverb

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