One of the things that I have started working on lately is mentor leadership. I've blogged a lot lately on servant leadership, which is great. But I've also been reading The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy, which has introduced an entirely new approach to servant leadership. Or perhaps it isn't a new approach as much as using different words to describe the same thing. I see servant leadership as a leadership style that's purpose is to serve and benefit others- not the leader. It's a treat-others-better-than-yourself leadership style. It's a leadership style that places everyone else above yourself. But mentor leadership is a more defined style of leadership. I would say it's a branch off servant leadership. I see mentor leadership as a leadership style intended to mentor the individuals within your sphere of influence. It's a one-on-one leadership style where the leader devotes a large amount of time and attention to an individual with the intention and purpose of mentoring them.
With this style of leadership, I have noticed myself looking for ways to influence those around me. In my conversations with co-workers, I have started to look for ways to find out more about them, to encourage them, to be their friend. I've really taken an interested in getting to know my co-workers better. I think during the last few months, my job had been mostly just a job. I didn't really care a whole lot for co-workers, at least, not enough to take to time to listen to them talk about their personal life. But that's changed in the last month.
I'm still figuring out this servant/mentor leadership thing. I'm in no way shape or form saying I have all the answers. But I'm trying. And the fact that I now care, really care, about my co-workers shows that I'm growing. And that it works. I've found that if you care about others, they care about you. And I've found that work is more fun and more enjoyable when you like the people you work with. I'm beginning to see the benefits of mentor leadership, and you can be sure to expect more posts on this topic in the future.