The Role of Mentoring in Success

Published by Amber Needham
Professional Development

The Role of Mentoring in Success

A mentor can be described as ‘a person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school’.

Mentoring can be extremely beneficial in the workplace, with more inexperienced employees able to develop their skills with a more experienced mentor and enhance their performance. Mentoring can often be likened to coaching however it is important to recognize that a mentor is often an on-going relationship for a longer period. These relationships can be highly effective, with the mentee able to have a constant figure to communicate with and ask questions to fulfil their potential. There are numerous influential figures who have benefitted from having a mentor which we will explore below.

Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou

Oprah Winfrey is a prominent public figure, known for her popular talk show, various books, charity and billionaire status. She was named in 2005 as ‘The Greatest Woman in American History’ and is admired globally for her philanthropy work. However, before Oprah became a successful and well-loved figure, she credits a lot of her achievement in the media to Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou was an American memoirist, poet and civil rights activist born in St Louis Missouri. She became known for her memoir in 1969 entitled ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ which brings to light her experiences with childhood trauma and racism.

Oprah Winfrey met Maya Angelou in the 1970’s when she interviewed her during her role as a news-broadcaster. There friendship formed several years later, and Maya often shared with Oprah words of advice which helped her cement herself as a philanthropist. Oprah credits Maya with teaching her how to be a charismatic speaker, which was invaluable for her career as a talk show host. These words of wisdom and mentorship over the years led Oprah to refer to her as a ‘mentor-mother-sister-friend’ which cements how important her relationship with Maya was in her life.

Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs

Mark Zuckerberg is best known for co-founding the social-media platform, Facebook in 2004. He dropped out of college to focus on creating the website and subsequently became one of the worlds youngest ever billionaires. In 2015 he and his wife, Priscilla, launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and pledged to give 99% of shares in the platform to promoting equality and advancing the potential of people around the world.

Steve Jobs was an American inventor and entrepreneur who cofounded Apple Inc in 1976. He then purchased the production company Pixar, investing a staggering $50 Million of his own money into the company as he believed in it’s potential. Apple went on to become a $1 trillion dollar company following his death in 2011 and Pixar has produced some high

Steve and Mark’s lives had a lot of parallels, with them both dropping out of college and then going on to co-create platforms that would be used by millions across the globe. They met when Mark was struggling with the interest of people wishing to buy Facebook, with Steve recommending a trip he had been on to an Indian Temple to help think about the future. This helped Zuckerberg look ahead to the potential avenues for Facebook and subsequently become a billionaire.

To summarise, some of the most successful people in the world have had influential mentors to help guide them along their journeys. Mentoring can be effective in the workplace to help less experienced colleagues learn and achieve their goals. Our ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring is a great way to helps delegates become excellent coaches and mentors and improve management performance, conflict resolution, communication, and interpersonal skills.


The Role of Mentoring in Success

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