Mentoring Our Future Leaders by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

As a business owner, there’s no doubt that you understand the importance of giving back to your community. There are many ways you can use your experience and expertise to help out, but likely none is more important than mentoring.

Mentoring helps ensure that our communities grow business leaders for the future. Too often, young people come out of school with an education but little practical experience and few resources to help them develop into their careers. As a mentor, you can provide this additional resource for young business people to help them develop into community pillars like yourself.

There are many different ways you can become a mentor. The easiest is to hire some young people in your business, and commit to helping them learn as they earn. This allows you to mentor them on a daily basis, and allows them to see a business leader in action regularly. It also makes it easier for you to fit mentoring into your schedule. Take the time to talk with your young employees about their goals and interests so that you can provide targeted help. Once they realize you are offering to be more than a boss, they’ll begin to come to you for advice and help in planning their future.

Another option for mentoring young people is by signing up for a mentoring program through your local high school or college. These programs pair business leaders with students who show an interest in a similar career. As you mentor these young people, you’ll be able to share your experience and provide advice on job interviewing, education and help teach them learn what’s expected in the business world. Your experience can help better prepare them for their first job and can provide them a resource to help when they have questions or need to make important decisions about their future.

Mentoring is a great way to help ensure there will be leaders like yourself in the future of business. Putting time into your community by helping young people achieve their business goals ensures you leave a legacy that will impact your area long after you’ve retired.