Heroic Mentorship

“I have always thought what is needed is the development of people who are interested not in being leaders as much as in developing leadership in others.”
-Ella J. Baker

What is heroic mentorship?

Heroic mentorship stems from the understanding that life-long heroism cannot be sustained without a mentor. Mentorship is more than just a trinket necessary to begin a hero’s journey. Mentorship adds accountability, tangible modeling, alternative information, direction and perspective. Mentorship helps keep the hero from falling into the traps of pride, distraction and despair. With consistent mentorship, heroes grow more courageous, develop stronger character and can survive a longer journey

Specifically, heroic mentors have the following attributes:

  • Heroic Mentors are mentors to other active heroes who practice what they preach
  • Heroic Mentors are active learners, journeying further down a heroic path and are looking over their shoulder to see who they can help support
  • Heroic Mentors aren’t mentoring for the sake of giving their own life purpose (through passing on their great wealth of knowledge), but rather Heroic Mentors see the purpose and potential taking place in the lives of other heroes and reach out to support that with their own knowledge and experiences
  • Heroic Mentors consistently practice watching and listening for calls to adventure and then seizes the opportunity. In this way, they become adept at helping other heroes see and seize their own opportunities
  • Heroic Mentors have taken risk, faced trials and failed. But they also have also chosen to get back up. In this way, heroic deeds become tangible. A hero who takes time to mentor breaks down the “veil of heroic perfection.” When heroes mentor, they intentionally become personally known, their flaws and their strengths. To the mentee, what once seemed extraordinary suddenly becomes human and possible.
  • Steps you can take to find or become a heroic mentor:

    1) Consider what you know
    A phrase common amongst the SNCC members was; “There are no experts here.”
    Everyone has journeyed through part of the human experience. Whether you know it or not, you have an experience or area of knowledge that is capable of being shared with someone who needs your support. That is the basic component of mentorship. Consider what has worked and what has not and then determine why. It will likely be useful to you and to someone else in the future.

    2) Get in motion – begin your heroic journey
    Be on the lookout for others taking heroic action. If you’re journeying, they will likely cross your path. Be intentional and initiate the connection. Look for ways you can help support them.

    3) Reach out to someone who can mentor you or to someone you can mentor.
    Whether you’re confidently walking out your heroic journey, or simply trying to find the path, you’re going to need a mentor to keep going. Take the risk to ask for guidance, share your struggles and fears, and hear someone else’s perspective.

    Conference: Mentor Handout

    [box type=”shadow”]**This page will be updated soon with research and resources following the Hero Round Table conference.**
    Thank you for your patience.
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    Last Updated 9/15/2014

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