The Power of Mentorship in Your Path to Excellence

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulder of giants” is Sir Isaac Newton’s awe-inspiring adage about mentorship.

The benefits of being in a mentor-mentee relationship are vast and far-reaching for both parties. The benefits of such pairings also have a substantial spinoff effect on the organizations and communities they belong to. 

Nehal Tanna

Nehal Tanna

The essence of mentorship is to leverage the wisdom of the experience and bring out the best in people.  By helping them “move from where you are to where you can go, the sky’s the limit. says Mentor, Project & Risk Manager, Nehal Tanna. “It can really, really change your life. I truly believe in the power of mentorship.” 

Sadly, the reality is that only 37% of professionals have a mentor. A shocking stat since 71% of Fortune 500 companies have formal mentoring programs. 

Of those with business mentors, 97% say they are valuable.  

“Mentoring is very close to my heart because I wouldn’t be who I am today without the mentors who have invested in me consistently throughout these years, says Tanna. 

“Basically, they’ve invested their time and energy to direct and guide me. In our get-togethers, they’ve shared their experience, provided guidance when I was confused. Most importantly, they have been there for me when I needed them,” Tanna continued.

As a payback to them, I am also paying it forward, passing it on to my mentees as to what I’ve learned from my mentors,” says Tanna.

According to a UPS Store survey, 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more,  double the rate of non-mentored entrepreneurs. 

“A mentor can help navigate the complex challenges that often come with being a business owner,” says W. Kenneth Yancy, Chief Executive Officer of SCORE, a nonprofit association driving small business education and mentorship programs. “The guidance from someone who has been there themselves can be a real asset.” 

Tanna, who spearheads the DEI initiatives of a Fortune 500 company,  walks us through the world of mentorship, outlining some best practices.  

“I would say mentoring is very important for anybody and everybody, regardless of your role or vocation.”

Goals determine how and to what degree you and your mentor work together.1. Your goals drive and determine the direction of your mentorship

Mentoring is not limited to business or professional growth support alone. There are mentors on many interests and activities, from fur-baby parenting, public speaking, building confidence, and more. 

A mentor builds up a plan based on what you, as the mentee want to learn, and how you’d like to develop. The mentee’s goals govern the mentor’s approach. That way,  you can learn and achieve together. A true mentor supports and shares their knowledge. They don’t dictate or tell you what to do.

2. Your mentor-mentee relationship is a 2-way relationship.

“As you have open conversations with your mentor, they’ll learn from you. Being in a mentor-mentee relationship helps you grow together in a relationship. You both experience situations together and support each other,” explains Tanna.

A good mentor is committed to walk with you and be available to answer your questions even outside of scheduled meetings if required.

Check out Episode 68 of for Nehal’s full interview

Surrounding yourself with a board of directors help you see life3. Mentoring forges solid and meaningful relationships.

The mentor can bring out the best in you. They encourage good choices and behaviour.  A high-trust partnership enables you to test and take risks with the benefit and wisdom of experience.

The constant reinforcement and encouragement you receive motivate you to keep developing and using your best talents.

When it comes to behaviour change, I’ve often said and stood by the adage, “Whatever gets recognized and rewarded gets repeated.”

4. A specialist guide/mentor can teach you new skills.

No one has all the answers and know-how to every subject or situation. Although not necessarily empowered to be a teacher, a mentor can help challenge your thinking and development. This is essential, especially when chartering a course outside your own expertise. Having a specialist guide as your mentor can help you successfully maneuver through your industry’s ins and outs, avoiding the typical pitfalls that lead to failure.

5. Mentorship is a safe space for you to express ideas without being judged.

The best mentor I ever had constantly asked me one question. “What does that look like?”

Without him ever being judgemental or feeling like I had a stupid idea, that one question forced me to analyze my thoughts and opinions. It forced me to be clear about what I was suggesting, often exposing my argument’s weaknesses (or strengths).

Mentorship is a platform for you to share anything in a judgment-free zone. A mentor provides you unbiased conversations that could help you regain composure and objectively lead you back to your goals.

Start learning from someone who is where you want to be6. Mentorship imparts life values.

Former football safety, sports analyst and coach, Tony Dungy said, “The personal, one-to-one aspect of mentoring is something our society desperately needs.”

In a world that relies on social media content, likes, and follows, mentorship is designed to create that one-on-one connection. It is not only limited to face-to-face or virtual meetings, however. Good mentors invite you into their lives, where you learn life as it happens. They model their values in the real world, not just by talking about them.  

7. Mentorship helps you profit from your mistakes.

According to John Maxwell, “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”

A mentor points out those attitudes, behaviours and choices you make that might get in the way of you becoming the best version of yourself. 

It’s essential to be open when you enter into these relationships by parking your ego at the door.

8. Mentorship allows you to find something special in yourself.

Oprah Winfrey says, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

Your mentor can tap into your unused and often unseen potential, skills and abilities and leverage them for your benefit and growth. Realize that you cannot see the label from inside the bottle. Your mentor provides you with a uniques perspective on ideas, challenges and even your own complacency.

9. Mentors receive favour in return for their investment in people.

It is not surprising that the mentor gets the loyal support of the mentees they have served.

 “These mentees are going to be your army because you’re guiding them. You’re making them successful, and they are going to be people you can count on when you need support,” says Tanna.

Support comes in all shapes10. You get a support network of people.

As an entrepreneur, career professional, student or individual, you can have a strong network of support around you.  A mentor carries a rich host of contacts of other mentors or businesses that can help you.

“I would say mentoring is very important for anybody and everybody, regardless of your role or vocation. You can have mentors in your personal life and in your professional life. You can have a mentor for anything and everything. That’s only going to make you better with what you are focused on,” explains Tanna.

Successful entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!'”

Mentoring, for the most part, is a free giving service that is mutually beneficial.  If you would like to explore mentorship, either as a mentor or mentee, connect with Nehal at

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