“When the student is ready, the mentor appears.” Mark Cole
So many subjects come to mind as I reflect upon this quote Mark Cole shared last week while training 3000 coaches, speakers and trainers in Florida. One subject that heads the list is being a student, or a better description may be “life-long learner.” I am passionate about being a student. If you aren’t willing to learn new things, then contact your local mortician, pick your cemetery lot, order your marker and set up your funeral service today, because you are dead where you stand. You might as well take care of all the arrangements now. That is how passionate I am about personal growth. That is how passionate I am for you. That’s why I get on here week after week…to help cultivate students, or life-long learners, and to be a mentor prepared for the time when the student is ready.
Mentors, you better be on the look out for hungry students. I want you to carefully consider your area of mentorship expertise. What does a hungry student look like to you? Are you looking for them? Are you actively seeking them out or are you sitting behind your desk wondering where all of the students are? The students are wondering where you are. They are out there. They are hungry. Some are so blatantly obvious in searching out a mentor that they are holding up signs saying “PICK ME COACH” in large letters and bold colors to get your attention. Some are quietly waiting to be noticed and are too shy to ask you but are ever so hopeful that you will approach them. Some are bold and come to you. They have asked you for mentorship. Did you hear them? Did you answer them? Did you send them away? If they weren’t a fit, did you send them to someone who is?
Description of a hungry student – They sit on the edge of their seats. They ask thought provoking questions. Many of them are excited and eager about the process of learning through the kind of doing that gets results. They listen thoughtfully. They are driven and if you aren’t ready to mentor them, they will go to someone who will and you – “would be mentor” – will miss out. Hungry students won’t settle for average – they are striving for perfection. They value time. They are insatiable…curious…explorers on a quest… and they won’t give up until they find what they are looking for. They pursue a definite desire with tenacity; sacrificing their blood, sweat and tears to obtain the prize. They are relentless. Like Duran Duran sang in the 80’s, they are on the prowl and “Hungry like the Wolf” until they have captured the object of their hunt. Always on the chase, never satisfied until their prey is in hand. They thirst for knowledge and wisdom like a wandering nomad in the desert, parched and desperate for a single drop of water.
Teachers, Mentors, Coaches…have you seen anyone like this in your circles? Could it be you have not because you are not? You are not attracting these hungry students into your life because you lack the nourishment they need. Your tank is empty. Hungry students don’t waste time sucking on a pacifier when food is to be had elsewhere. Feed and nurture yourself so you can feed and nurture these starving students. They are looking for you. Will you answer the call? If not, they will go to someone else who will answer.
Mentors, Coaches and Teachers: Could it be that no students are at your door because you are too busy gazing out the window to notice anyone at your door at all? Wake up!!! The old saying is true…”the fields are ripe for the harvest, but the mentors are few.” Tune into the frequency of the student and you will have more people to mentor than you can possibly handle!
The heartbeat of the student responds to the heartbeat of another student, who is wiser, ahead of them in their journey and can propel them to the next steps. Do you have the heartbeat of a student? Mentors, if no one is seeking your mentorship then you are out of tune with the student. Instead of picking up students from the airwaves, you are picking up nothing more than static! Like the airwaves, it only takes a little turn of the knob, a slight adjustment or tweak to get connected to the right channel and hear the music. What adjustments do you need to make in order to pick up on student’s hungry cries for personal growth and mentorship?
Mentors: use the acrostic MENTOR as a guide. These are some things you can do this week to fine tune your frequency to attract more students,
M – Make time for students to appear.
E – Exemplify actions, behavior and character that attracts students.
N – Never settle for an average or mediocre life.
T – Tune in and pay attention to the students around you.
O – Open doors of opportunity for students.
R – Relationships with students must become a priority.
Hungry students / life-long learners are waiting for you. They are counting on you to appear. Will you answer the call?