Where can I find a Mentor? | AskTOP.net – Leader Development for Army Professionals

Where can I find a Mentor?

As a junior enlisted Soldier, I have few mentors in my MOS.. What would your opinion be on the best places to look (outside of personnel beyond my MOS) in order to develop my leadership skills, so that I can become a competent leader?

Great question.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with finding someone outside your MOS and picking their brain for mentorship and professional development.  I think looking for a mentor is a hard job.  Usually I found mentors in leaders of my battalion that did not even know they were my mentors.  Funny point is I was mentored more from my bad leaders then the great ones.  The bad ones teach you what not to do but they also teach you how to stretch yourself to evolve and work through difficult issues.  Keep in mind our character is not defined by what we do when times are good but how we behave when times are bad.  I know I did not give you a specific answer and that’s because in my experience I stumbled into my Great mentors, the rest of the time I learned from those around me. You might find some good information in a book titled:  Move out Leadership.  You can find it in your local clothing and sales store or at GIpubs.com

Another form of developing yourself comes from reading.  There are some great leadership biographies out there and other books like:  Leading with Questions.  To me one of the best things a leader can do is to understand how his team thinks as a group and as individuals.  Then the key becomes how do you grow to know and understand them so that you can best solve the issues that confront your team.  Therefore a good leader needs to be able to ask thought provoking questions that get to the root cause of the issue.
There is much to be said about becoming a competent leader that means many things to different people.  Consider reading some of the important regulations and FMs such as:  AR 635-200, 600-8-19, 600-20, 623-3, 350-1,FM 7-22,  just to name a few.

Please feel free to visit ASKTOP and check out the questions and articles as we frequently share information that is very useful to Soldiers in your situation.  Specifically with regard to counseling, leadership, Article 15, and evaluations.

Perhaps the best advise I can give you on leadership is be YOURSELF! You cannot be an effective leader if you are not yourself.  Trying to become someone else with do nothing but cause you significant issues in your leadership roles.  However, you should find things that good leaders do to motivate and educate their Soldiers to do well and analyze these methods and determine if they work with your personality.  No one likes a Bully!

If you have a specific question I would be honored to try and assist.

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posted on 09/18/2013 under Q&A
Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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