Attract A Mentor-Protege Relationship That Really Works

Tips for finding your best fit

(Image: iStock by Getty Images)
(Image: iStock by Getty Images)

Mentor-protégé relationships often play a critical role in the lives of successful professionals and business owners.

It is this relationship that can mean a foot in a door, a climb up a ladder and even the opening of a business. The mentor-protégé relationship is most effective when there is mutual benefit. Thus, one must be careful, not to mention strategic, in aligning themselves.

[Related: 5 Practical Tips for Every Current and Aspiring Businesswoman]

At the 2016 Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Summit, the owner of Ellis Island Tea, Nailah Ellis-Brown, will join the President and CEO of ChemicoMays, Leon Richardson, as they offer a firsthand account of the endless possibilities that may arise from a successful mentor-protégé relationship.

The two will explore how entrepreneurs can start with identifying a business mentor to pushing beyond the initial meeting into a deeper, more impactful relationship.

In the meantime, BlackEnterprise.com offers these pointers to help you narrow down your search.

Mentors considering a protégé should:

  • Find someone who is naturally driven—perhaps you can see yourself in that person.
  • Make sure the potential protégé has realistic expectations about what they want in their professional careers and what they’re willing to do to get it.
  • Seek someone open to constructive criticism.
  • Be sure your protégé possesses the prerequisite skills necessary to obtain set goals.
  • Ensure that your protégé is dedicated and committed to achieving set goals and is open to exploring/refining a course of action.

Protégés seeking a mentor should:

  • Seek out a mentor who exudes the professional or the business success you aspire to attain.
  • Make sure that your mentor is available when needed. Keep in mind that many professionals are pressed for time, so be willing to be flexible.
  • Find a mentor that actually has the capacity to help you in some shape or form. Align yourself with someone who has access to the proper resources (or Rolodex) to aid in your goals.
  • Be sure your mentor is someone you’d hate to let down—a little accountability can really take you a long way.

Learn more about building mentor-protégé relationships at the 2016 BE Entrepreneurs Summit, May 4th-7th, Loews Hotel Miami, Miami, Florida. Register now.

Be sure to follow Black Enterprise on social media @BlackEnterprise for Entrepreneur Summit news, highlights, and updates. Use hashtag #BESummit to stay in the loop. Please be on the lookout at BlackEnterprise.com as speakers, activities, and sessions are announced.