I had always wondered the stem from which Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Ghana's celebrated investigative journalist geminated. The day I found out that he started with Kweku Baako who is also a celebrated Investigative journalist, I had a reason to take my own mentors more seriously.
Everyone comes to this world with an assignment to solve a problem on earth, sadly however many never ever live to fulfill it. Yet again a lot more only scratch the surface of their assignment partly because they both fail to take mentoring seriously. A generation is here that wants to get it all without serving; without learning how to do it. Bishop David Oyedepo said, "There is no world class leader who has not been led".
Anas is no wonder a great journalist in my opinion because he discovered the wisdom of finding and keeping a mentor. If you ask me, I believe that the most powerful learning model exists within a mentoring relationship. The reason for my answer is not farfetched because Jesus Christ, the greatest leader of all time, chose this method to entrust the Kingdom message to twelve people who have ensured the relevance of this message two thousand years on.
Operationally, I will define a mentor as someone who has achieved something worthwhile in society that you so admire for which reason you decide to nurture a relationship that will afford you the opportunity to benefit from their insight.
If you ask me I believe that God gives everyone in their growing up experience this kind of person but most of us fail to recognize them as such. In order to paint the exact picture of what I am talking about let me take you through five solid reasons why I believe we all need to nurture a mentor relationship.
Let us face it many of us know that we are here for something great. I have met many countless young people who are zealous about something. Out of that zeal comes a lot of ideas some very foolish and some of course smart but requires polishing. A good mentoring relationship will afford us the opportunity to direct our zeal with knowhow. The Bible states clearly in Proverbs 19:2 that it is not good to have zeal without knowledge because we can miss the way. Zeal is powerful and a good mentor can direct it to bring about tangible results. Peter did have a lot of zeal but we all know how many times Jesus had to redirect it to a point of rebuking the devil out of him. We all need great mentors like Jesus.
We all, like an airplane, have the capacity to fly but without a run-way we become a beautiful metal bird look-alike. It is called head start and it comes in various forms. Sometimes all we need from a mentor is their hands being laid us for prayer, a word of encouragement, opportunity to try, a listening ear and validation of our idea or even the opposition of our idea. Yes I mean it because sometimes an opposition can stir you up with the right adrenaline for success. Most world changing ideas are sitting in the hearts of many people waiting for the head start. When Joseph interpreted Pharoah’s dream, he could have been rewarded for his service with cash but when Pharoah validated Joseph’s leadership capacity, history reports what a great leader he became. I myself remember the day my spiritual father, Pastor John Egyir-Croffet, validated my youth ministry dream, it was such a time of empowerment.
Show me the one who never made any mistake, and I will show you the one who never achieved anything. Mistakes are key in pointing out to us what doesn’t work that we may increase our chances of discovering what works. Mistakes surprisingly have a way of dispelling fear of failure if we are able to handle it well because it helps us to know how failure looks like. Under a good mentor we are able to make all our mistakes under supervision and cover shielding us in the process from receiving all the direct flak. I have dealt with so many young people who just needed to be supervised and encouraged through their mistakes. Many have never seen the light of day because they never had anyone to lift them up when a single career wrecking mistake brought them down. Jesus himself had to reinstate Peter knowing that he still had potential although he had denied him three times.
A good name is better than riches. I know what it means to work under the umbrella of a good name. Even when Jesus Christ started His ministry, He went to the accepted spiritual leader at the time, John the Baptist, for “a letter of introduction”. I am sure the fresh graduate Anas was a nobody but could use the well known Kweku Baako brand name to open a lot of doors.
The power of a good name is clearly seen on facebook for example when two people even post the same useful information. A case in point is when one time Joyce Meyer just posted on her facebook wall “God is not mad at you” and receive so many comments from around the world that she decided to write a book on that. How many people haven’t posted better comments?
It is quite obvious therefore that what you are saying is not as important as who is saying it. For me the joy of serving under a mentor with a strong brand name are the privileges I get to enjoy by association. I remember when I was asked one time by Kwasi Twum, a great leadership mentor to me, to place calls to some very prominent people. When I started calling them on my phone many did not pick up their phones, but when I sent them text messages with my mentor’s name they did not just pick up my calls but some even returned my missed calls. When you discover the wisdom of a good mentor you can fast track your success curve.
Jesus never condemned James and John when they came through their mum to ask for opportunity to occupy the greatest positions. Instead he revealed the mystery of greatness as humble service. The one who sacrifices their ego, pride, even their very life for others ends up as the greatest. Is history not replete with such people who sacrificed their lives even lost their very life for others? The hall of fame has Stephen of the early church, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King jr, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, the list never ends. The way to true greatness is not up there but very very down below. When a good mentor offers the opportunity to serve under them, they end up providing a fertile ground where the mentee can sow seeds of humble service and consequently reap greatness.
To sum it all up, I must say that anyone who is reading this article can learn to quickly make adjustments in their own lives to take advantage of the great benefits of getting and keeping a mentor. I have heard others use different names to refer to a mentor like spiritual parents, coach and so on. This notwithstanding, whatever name you give to it, the concept is very clear and when we make use of it, we will reap its full benefits.