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Nutrients In Good Soil: Mentors

Updated: May 28

Matthew's father started a dealership and grew it into a significant business. His dad was a "wheel-horse," personally overseeing almost every part of the business. But, developing and releasing people was not his strength. His default was to do a job rather than train others to do it in his absence.

When Matthew was thirty, his very successful father unexpectedly died on the shop floor.

His father had not prepared the business to succeed in his absence. There was no succession planning. When the company fell to Matthew, he was lost.

Advice from an older business associate helped Matthew through some challenging circumstances during that season. Matthew embraced him as a mentor.

Good mentors are like nutrients that enrich the soil of your business. Nutrients are needed to enrich your soil (see Are You Growing Weeds, Crops, or Soil?). Building the soil for future harvests is an ever-present concern.

Intentionally meeting with his mentor becomes the enrichment Matthew needs to maneuver the business forward successfully.

Successful leaders who find significance have great mentors in their lives.

Twenty years later, Matthew sells his father's business at a premium and once again his mentor saves his life.

You should seek out mentors to help you in your business. Wise leaders don't wait for a crisis to be intentional about incorporating mentors into their lives. Leadership is about finding and fixing problems while they are small enough to be fixed. Mentors are golden in this process.

How do you get great mentors?

Likely, potential mentors are already in your life. Look at your insurance advisor, C.P.A., or attorney. Look for people who have experience in the areas you might need help in. Be prepared to approach them and ask if they will regularly meet and share with you.

Before engaging potential mentors, there are many questions you should consider asking. But the first questions are for you:

  • Are you coachable?

  • Are you able to value the opinions of a mentor?

  • Are you a "know-it-all?"

  • Are you willing to examine your strengths AND weaknesses?

  • Are you motivated to modify these?

  • What areas do you need help in?

Some areas to explore in potential mentors:

  • Do they have a sense of calling to help you and others?

  • What are the most rewarding aspects for them as a mentor?

  • What is their area of expertise in business that might help you?

  • What is their area of expertise in life that might help you?

  • What successes have they learned from?

  • What failures have they learned from?

  • How skilled are they in asking great questions?

Successful leaders who find significance have great mentors in their lives.

Harry T. Jones

P.S. Here at Cultivating Impact, we are currently screening companies that generate between one and one hundred million in sales to partner with.

The top values we consider for partnership are:

  • Is your company profitable?

  • What are the top three values in your company?

  • How are these values demonstrated in your company culture?

Contact me at

*Like all my stories, Matthew's story is real; his name and some particulars are changed to protect him.

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