Posts tagged abundance
Being an abundant mentor

Mentoring programs typically fail because one or more positive ingredients listed above are missing. Without question, the mentor’s head has to be fully in the game. When I first began as a head of school, I was assigned an experienced mentor from a different school on the other side of the country. He agreed to help me as a favor, and, predictably, as the school year progressed and his schedule became increasingly more filled, our time together dwindled to the point that the relationship had practically ended on its own.

In addition, a mentor has to be able to earn the protégé’s trust. That is not as simple as it sounds. In addition to demonstrating capacity, effective mentors find ways to make their protégés genuinely feel that they have the mentor’s best interests in mind.

One great way by which to build such trust is to think in abundance. Abundance theory sees the world as offering infinite possibilities. It suggests that not only is there plenty to go around (the opposite of scarcity thinking) but it also posits that my helping others will help me, in terms of sharpening my skillset and building increased capacity and demand within the field.

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Abundance Theory in the Workplace

A few years back, I had made the decision to shift careers from school leadership to that of executive coach and consultant. To that end, I enrolled in a doctoral program studying human and organizational psychology. In my first course, I was told to interview someone who was in the same field that I sought to pursue and ask that person a series of questions relating to their career path.

After doing some research, I found two successful women that fit the bill. While both were pleasant to speak with and generous with their time, one in particular, a coach and trainer, shared some things that really made an impression on me. She said that she had benefitted from others’ expertise when she had gotten started and was always looking for ways to “pay it forward” to other aspiring professionals. The fact that I was planning to move to her general area and serve similar clients did not deter her from giving freely of her advice. She even met me on another occasion over lunch to talk further about how to help me transition and grow my business.

This woman’s behavior not only helped me to get started but she also inspired me to rethink a lifelong script that had become part of my inner thinking and attitude. I refer specifically to Scarcity Theory.

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