Leading By Direction, Not Dictation - Page 2 of 2
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Leading By Direction, Not Dictation

help you advance? Can you afford to stop or interrupt your work schedule in pursuit of another degree?

Is it time to move on? This is the perfect time to reassess your career goals and personal aspirations. Do they mesh or are they conflicting? What criteria are you now using to measure success?

In other words, the successful protégé is actively and ultimately responsible for the direction and progression of his or her career, even to the point of knowing when to graciously say “thanks, but no thanks” to advice that doesn’t gel with career goals or interests. Mentors are not infallible, offers Wellington. Because the relationship is between two people, there is no one to edit information that could be wrong, outdated, or just not palatable.

Marques T. Crump, a computer programmer and multimedia Web designer, learned this lesson while completing an 18-month, less-than-fulfilling project assignment at Harley Davidson in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. “The work I was doing wasn’t challenging. It wasn’t a bad experience–it was just boring,” says Crump, 27, who holds a bachelor’s degree in information systems from Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City.

Eight months into the project, Crump’s manager-mentor transferred to another Harley site in York, Pennsylvania, and tried to persuade him to transfer. He respectfully declined. “I wasn’t about to relocate to do work that I knew would be unfulfilling,” he says. When his assignment ended in November 2002, Crump began a new career as a financial service representative for Primerica, a subsidiary of financial services giant Citigroup.

From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side
Zachary offers a snapshot of how componentsof the mentor-protégé relationship have changed:

Relationship Element   Paradigm Shift
Protégé Role From: Passive receiver, often chosen by a senior-level professional who has developed an affinity toward the benefactor.
  To: Active partner, who seeks and develops relationships with mentors inside and out of the company.
Mentor Role From: Authoritative-directing and outlining a straight path.
  To: Facilitating a supportive climate in line with protégés goals.
Learning Process From: Mentor is responsible for protégé’s learning.
  To: Self-directed: protégé responsible for own learning.
Mentoring Relationship From: One mentor, one protégé.
  To: Multiple mentors over a lifetime and multiple models for mentoring: individual, group, and peer models.
Length of Relationship From: Calendar focused.
  To: Goal determined.
Focus From: Product oriented, transferring knowledge.
  To: Process oriented: critical reflection before application.

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