What makes someone a mentor?


But first… What is a mentor?

A mentor is not different from any job title. And it is not in contrast with any role. Developing people falls across industries and roles: it’s encompassing. A mentor can be a you-fill-in-the-blank:

  • JOB TITLE (physician, financial manager, nurse, foreman, analyst, writer, economist, marketing agent, service personnel),
  • ROLE (parent, professor, boss, co-worker), or
  • POSITION within any ranking structure.

But any one of those may not be a mentor.

All have the necessity at some point to play the role of some level of developer. And may evolve to become mentors if it so fits them.

A mentor falls under the umbrella of the several kinds of Developers of People, and, most often, in the professional world in some capacity or another. We discussed those other main Developers in the Spectrum (trainers, teachers, coaches, counselors—as roles, not titles), and identified the high engagement of a mentor and its encompassment.

That’s the sum of what a mentor is. But, without contrasting to the other roles, just what makes someone a mentor?