Induction – A leadership and mentoring lesson

Leaders are mentors.  Leaders have mentors. Mentees seek effective mentors.  As a leader do you know what it takes to be an effective mentor to others?  Mentees do you know what you should look for in a mentor?

Leaders understand the importance of a great mentor.  Some of the most effective leaders  and successful people in history have had mentors.  Here are a few individuals and their mentors:

  • Oprah Winfrey’s mentor was Maya Angelou;
  • Mark Zukerberg’s mentor was Steve Jobs;
  • Bob Dylan’s mentor was Woody Guthrie;
  • Mother Teresa’s mentor was Father Michale Van Der Peet;
  • Bill Gates’ mentor was Warren Buffett;
  • Quincy Jones’ mentor was Ray Charles;
  • Henry David Thoreau’s mentor was Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mentorship is a vital part of ones personal and professional life.  Why is it that mentorship works?  Perhaps a lesson in science can help us understand more about mentorship and why it works.

Induction as a model for mentorship:

This is the process of temporarily aligning metallic poles to have one common positive side and one common negative side without contact.  The process of induction can create a temporary magnet through electricity and/or magnetism.  For example, placing a strong magnet near a nail will cause the opposite inductioncharge to be attracted to the magnet and align these poles within the nail so that it too can carry a magnetic charge and attract other nails.  Placing a charged magnet near a nonmagnetic item can temporarily magnetize the item by aligning the direction of the forces.  The magnet does not come into contact with the nonmagnet, nor does the magnet give anything to the nonmagnet that it does not already have.

Mentoring through induction:

What have we learned about mentoring through induction?

Mentors, just being near mentees is enough to attract and align all efforts in the same direction to emulate the magnets’ abilities and skills for a defined amount of time.  Mentors do not need to give something that mentees do not already have.  Mentors do not need to forcefully change something within mentees to charge and align their efforts.

All mentees understand the affect that a great mentor has on motivation and effort.  Sometimes it is just being near someone that is the catalyst to align and effectively energize the needed passion to be successful for a period of time.

Mentors be aware that change happens by being near you.

Mentees place yourself near those that are charged and can have that affect on you.

Go be a mentor. Go find a mentor.  You can cause change just being around others.

Dr. Nathan Herzog



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