The future of any organization lies with the organization’s ability to mentor and rise up young leaders. Unfortunately, many leaders are too insecure to mentor young leaders because it threatens their position of influence and security leading to excuses as to why the leader is unable to mentor. (de Vries, 1988, p. 25) One of the most common excuses used is a lack of time. This tends to be an excuse rather than a legitimate reason. There are three practical ways to make mentoring a possibility.
First, delegate responsibilities; not just for mentoring reasons, but because delegation is a building block for a flourishing organization. (Kane, 2006, p. 190) Delegation is the road to a healthy organizational culture, (Handy, 1985) fostering empowerment and ownership among members of the organization. Anything that can be done by someone else should be in order to allow the organizational leaders to do what only they can do: mentor future leaders.
Second, leaders and those under them should eliminate unnecessary tasks and time wasters. Eliminating such items will free up necessary time to handle newly delegated tasks, and will bring a learn-by-doing environment where self-actualization is fostered. (Northouse, 2013, p.228) Leaders are able to delegate tasks and responsibilities without overwhelming members of the organization.
Finally, if members of the organization are overwhelmed already and unable to handle more delegated tasks, and time wasters have been cleared, it is time to hire more members. Mentoring is a high priority to establish longevity, so finances allocated to hire new members is worth it. This also sends a message to the members of the organization that mentoring and the future are important, that the members of the organization are trusted owners, not hired hands. (Kouzes, 2012, p. 214)
De Vries, M. F. R. K. (1988). The Dark Side of Ceo Succession. Management Review, 77(8), 23.
Handy, C. (1993). Understanding Organizations (4 edition.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Kane-Urrabazo, C. (2006). Management’s role in shaping organizational culture. Journal of Nursing Management, 14(3), 188–194.
Kouzes, J. M. (2012). The leadership challenge: how to make extraordinary things happen in organizations (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.