They say that in mentoring, it is the protege who chooses who the mentor is. We, as leaders, cannot impose on others and push ourselves to be their mentor. It has to be their choice. They have to choose us.
A couple of weeks ago, someone presented herself as a possible mentor to me. I was willing – whether I said this because it was true at that moment or because agreement was the only possible, non-offensive response I could think of, I do not know – and I told her as much. Now, so many days and so many run ins later, I SO take it back.
John Maxwell wrote that people naturally gravitate towards people who are stronger leaders than themselves. Maybe that’s the reason. Or maybe it’s just the summation of the numerous encounters I’ve had with her. I’d like to think of myself as open-minded, although I have to admit, I am a little judgmental. And mapanglait. But I generally don’t take people’s idiosyncrasies against them. I mean, I know I’m a little strange, so who am I to judge, right? But one thing I cannot stand is insecurity.
I have spent so many hours talking about how we should develop people to one day take out place. I have read about the Law of Legacy and it’s something I found myself to be so passionate about because I believe in it so much. So when I come up against a person who is so insecure that she couldn’t even set up her downline for success, it takes a lot for me to not say anything. And, after last week, I can honestly say that my attempt to be non-reactive about it was an epic fail. The sad thing is, the first time I saw her on the floor, I actually thought she was pretty good. Her style is so different from mine, but she’s still good in her own right. And yes, I do believe I can learn from her. But if she thinks that being a mentor means people will just listen and follow and never question, then I’m sorry, but it’s just not going to work out.
If you think having a selfish leader is bad, think of how life is if an insecure leader handles a people pleaser. I hate it when people play the victim. I mean, I like to wallow as much as the next person, but you can’t just play lie down, be a doormat and play dead forever. I’ve always said that there are no such things as victims – only people who allow themselves to be victimized. At the end of the day, everything is still our choice. So if we let ourselves be tread upon because we are such spineless gits, then we forgo any right to complain about how badly we are treated. This reminds me of that line from The Wedding Date we keep using during sessions – “Every woman has the exact lovelife she wants.” It might not make sense for a lot of people, but I understand what made him say that. For every bad relationship we have, for every blow we take, for every burden that breaks our backs, and the end of the day, it was our choice to say yes. It has always been our choice to stay.
You want to be a great leader? Raise great leaders. Choose the life you want to live. And then live it.