I believe the best way to understand a concept is to explain it to someone else. “While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca. In my experience teaching is such a fruitful way to learn! If you are trying to help others understand a concept you tend to work harder to understand the material, recall it more accurately, articulate it better and apply it more effectively.
As an experienced leader one tends to rely on data but in the end ones’ gut. The gut is made up of all of your experiences so thats a wonderful thing. You can never be sure that you are in fact right – disruptive thinking comes from making connections of non-obvious data points. The last thing you want to do is demonstrate conventional wisdom and kill disruptive ideas. Showing this restraint and helping your mentees through a self-discovery process certainly grows you as a leader.
Large companies tend to have legacy systems and processes that keep you from seeing a more obvious and straight-forward customer experience. This could be your point of disruption. Fresh perspectives and approaches are often what you can take back to your company. You get a good pulse on what’s going on and what the new thinking is.
The number of people making the time to pay forward is growing exponentially. These folks will inspire you to do more. It is usually the most busy people that will find the time to pay forward. It is not about having the time, it is about making the time to pay forward. When you meet and connect with these individuals you have another chance to learn from them and their views while strengthening your own. If nothing else it will give you fresh perspective and also allow people to challenge your wisdom.
You will feel great for having taken the time to help others and in your own way make a small dent in the world.
Everyone should mentor, it is quite amazing actually. Start by telling your story, where you’ve failed, where you’ve succeeded, where you’ve been scared, where you’ve felt on top of your game. There is always someone that will benefit from your experience and mentorship. You’re never too young to mentor. You’re never too old to be mentored.