FTI's Trustee and founder Secretary, Mr L.K. Kandpal has published an excellent article (PDF linked here) in Crowned Grace International.
LK Kandal has more than three decades experience in the academic field, including two decades as Principal, with an in-depth insight into the functioning of various areas of Human Resource, Public Relations, Administration, Academic Supervision and Mentoring in institutions of repute. He worked as Principal, New Digamber Public School, Indore, MP, since April 2006, and was recently elevated to the position of Director from April 2012. Earlier, he held the position as Principal of an Army School for 11 years and Principal of a chain of Delhi Public Schools for four years. Attended several seminars and workshops including one on "Strategic Leadership for Schools in a Changing Environment" organized by IIM Ahmedabad.
It is such high quality leaders that FTI is looking for; leaders who understand how to build OTHER leaders.
Coaching and Mentoring—Building Future Leaders
By LK KANDPALWhile checking the meaning of mentor' in Wikipedia it was interesting to learn that in Greek mythology `Mentor' was an old friend of Odysseus, who entrusted the education of his son Telemachusto Mentor. Hence, the concept of mentoring is not a recent one as is generally understood. Traditionally, mentors have been guides and advisors. One thing is clear that a mentor is expected to be a person of experience, wisdom and integrity.Mentor and MenteeMentoring is a two way process of give and take and hence slightly different from coaching and tutoring. It is sharing and working together towards realization of common goals of an organization and building future leadership. It is rather a collaborative effort by the mentor and the mentee. While the mentee should be a keen learner the mentor should be patient, persuasive and understanding.A true mentor works as a facilitator helping the newly inducted employee in his personal and professional growth. The cornerstone of the process is respect and trust. The mentor has the greater responsibility in the entire program. He/she has to be a guide, a friend and a motivator. The mentoring process requires that the mentor and the mentee work in tandem to reach specific organizational and developmental goals. A good mentor assists in developing and monitoring the mentee's individual capabilities and in setting developmental goals and plans to achieve them.Family as MentorAs soon as we are born, we depend on parents for not only nurturing but also for learning various skills. If we are deprived of the basic training, we shall not be able to learn language and our inherent basic faculties may remain stagnated. Hence, an informal mentoring begins with family. The parents are first mentors of a child. Here, mentoring takes place spontaneously and unconsciously.Other Agencies of MentoringThe next agency which takes up the role of mentor is school and college, wherein begins a more formal plan to develop leadership in students. Here, teachers function as facilitators and mentors. The curriculum is devised in a way that the students are trained in the skills, which help them face the realities of life later on. Many schools have specialized coaches and trainers, who train students in various skills like liberal arts, music and sports. Thus, a school or college is a strong training academy for mentoring the future leaders.The Formal Concept of MentoringFormal mentoring starts when we join an organization. Every organization has a scheme in some form or the other to support new employees, who need the support from experienced individuals. In most of the organizations there are induction programs to familiarize the new employees with the culture, goals and processes of the organization. Mentoring, in this way, aids the new recruits to achieve their business goals and objectives.Mechanisms of MentoringMentoring can be arranged one-on-one, wherein a senior person mentors a new entrant or in small teams. Another way of mentoring is through teams consisting of peers with varied backgrounds and skills mentoring each other. To a great extent, peer mentoring is more effective since it is based on the concept of mutual benefit. Another way, prevalent in most organizations, is to organize a formal program in terms of a two/three-day workshop that includes the training modules to engage in successful mentoring relationships. The workshop aims to share the wisdom and experience of mentors with mentees, who also get an opportunity to take advantage of this training and to assume an active role in advancing their leadership role. This workshop ultimately results in a congenial relationship, which outlines how both the partners will work together.It is important here to note that this is not a one-time activity. Rather, this is a continuous program of an organization. The organization sets an action plan to monitor and appraise the scheme at regular intervals.There is provision for timely feedback from the employees- mentors and mentees. It is always desirable that there are refresher capsules at regular intervals.A Good LeaderA good leader is one who aims to produce more leaders, who are competent and confident. All great organizations, believe in developing future leaders. The strategy also leads to a smooth succession of leadership ladder in the organization. Some of them can also take up leadership role in other organizations.To Sum UpEvery organization follows the concept of mentoring, where a mentor assumes various roles as a tutor, guide and counselor helping the mentee in setting in ultimately building future leadership and in succession planning.Successful organizations are investing a lot on the coaching of their employees and developing future leaders. They know it well that this can be done only by creating atmosphere of mutual trust and acceptance, where learning takes place continuously through a variety of developmental programs and mentoring schemes. A well-planned mentoring strategy can help the organization meet its strategic goals and building future leaders.
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