There are (at least) 5 types of mentors. Each type can play a unique role in your development/growth.
Previously, we shared how a mentor is a cheat code for you career (How to: Find a Mentor). Nothing will accelerate your development, technical knowledge, or network quicker than a mentor.
Mentors are your personal board of directors. Just like it is healthy for a company to have a diverse governance board, it is also healthy for you to seek diversity in mentors.
Below are 5 types of mentors
This mentor plays devil’s advocate. They don’t just tell you want you want to hear. You have given them the ability to speak into your career/life
This mentor is your biggest fan and positive promoter. When you hit a pothole in your career, it is helpful to have this person around for encouragement.
This mentor has a high technical proficiency and is also willing to spend time to teach. They may not be the most fun mentor, but are invaluable to your technical growth/knowledge.
This mentor helps you dream. Do you feel stuck in a rut? Do you have 25% of a great idea? The ideator help think outside the box by introducing ideas or seeing additional dimensions to your ideas.
This mentor connects the dots through relationships. “It is not what you know, but you who you.” Connectors get a kick out of connecting people. They will expand and deepen your network.
Many mentors play more than one of these roles. It is also healthy to periodically change your mentor or add new mentors.
What roles are missing from your personal board of directors? Consider using The Best Advice to fill in some of the gaps.
Note: Are you curious who sits on the board of directors for various public companies? How to: Find Public Company Executive Compensation shares how to find the bios and compensation of a public company’s board of directors and executive leadership team.