Mentorship is great. I myself have been mentored for over 20 years by some amazing people but I’ve come to believe there is a more effective way to pass on your influence and to be influenced.
It’s apprenticeship and it’s a far more effective way to raise up leaders.
The issue I have with mentorship is that the mentee is in control of the process in most cases. When I am asked to mentor I am asked to pass along my information on a certain subject that they are trying to master.
The problem here lies in the fact that while someone may want to be great at public speaking or writing or growing a business, they may inherently have a large negative hanging over their character that will hinder their quest for whatever they are asking to improve.
Apprenticeship is completely different. To be apprenticed is to mimic the person apprenticing you. Apprenticeship means to watch, observe, practice and live with a leader. It is an old practice that is rooted in industrial type work. If you were a machinist then you most likely apprenticed under someone to see how they did what you were going to be required to do.
In the knowledge industry, there is little to apprentice and watch because ideas and concepts are hard to apprentice.
However, how to live and how to lead can be taught, watched and apprenticed.
Donald Trump is surely not our example for Apprenticeship. However, the concept of the show is very valid. Notice there is not a reality show called The Mentor. Mentorship is convenient and while good, just a bit weak.
A good example is Plato compared to Jesus. It is evident that Plato mentored many people and did have a few apprenticeships. However, the main focus of Greek society was the Parthenon model where people could come and philosophize and listen and take information and enlightenment back to their lands.
Jesus on the other hand took 12 ordinary men and moved to the country where he apprenticed these guys 24 hours a day for over 2 years. They watched him, listened to him and practiced healing the sick and sharing good news. They were apprenticed not mentored.
If you are serious about changing the world or transforming your community then it is important to invest in 1 or more leaders and give yourself away to them. Replicate who you are and what you have learned (assuming it is worth replicating).
Take mentorship to a higher standard – apprenticeship.
Challenge the young buck who comes to you wanting what you have obtained. Take this person through the journey you know they need. They will grow faster and become a more effective leader themselves as a result.
If they won’t follow those instructions, do what Jesus taught those he apprenticed, shake the dust off your feet and move to those who will.Related posts: