How To Ask A Busy Senior Executive Leader To Be Your Mentor

Have you ever wanted to ask a senior executive leader to be your mentor, but you felt a bit…intimidated?

First of all, that’s completely normal.

Most people worry that a senior executive leader couldn’t possibly have time to meet with them.

Or perhaps they’ve convinced themselves that they don’t deserve a mentor because they don’t bring enough to the table.

These assumptions have one important thing in common:

They’re all WRONG.

My name is Stacy Mayer, and I coach corporate managers to get promoted into senior level executive positions. In this edition of Your Promotability Factor, I explain the four things you need to understand about mentorship, so you can stop worrying and start building a relationship with a mentor today.

Here they are:

#1: Change your perception.

Senior executive leaders are NOT too busy to mentor you. Here’s why:

Yes, senior executives are busy, important people, but… 

…they got to their position for a reason.

And one of those reasons is their ability to set boundaries with their time.

They are in control of their calendars.

They prioritize their time.

And for many senior executive leaders, mentorship is a big priority.

#2: Broaden your options.

There is a misconception out there that it is easier to ask an internal executive to be a mentor than an external one.

Maybe it’s because they work for the same organization.

Or perhaps some people think it’s part of their job.

But…this isn’t true.

Instead, you need to treat both external and internal executives the same way.

So, if you’re struggling to find a mentor you connect with at your own organization, that’s ok. Find someone at a different company instead.

#3: See it from the mentor’s perspective.

This may come as a surprise to you, but mentors love to mentor.

Not only is it an opportunity to pass down their knowledge to a new generation of leaders, it also fuels their own ability to lead at a higher executive level.

How?

When you mentor others, it forces you to really understand your own leadership style.

You have to reflect on and define your point of view, what you care about, what you think matters most, and what skills you can impart that you’ve learned over the course of your career.

It makes you question your own leadership style, where you’re headed, and where you want to go.

So mentorship isn’t a one-way exchange of insights and advice. It’s a two-way street.

#4: Get over your fear of not bringing “value” to the conversation.

When it comes to mentorship, many corporate managers I speak to worry that they won’t be accepted as a mentee unless they bring something big to the table.

Now, I’ve explained above how mentorship is actually valuable to the mentor, but here are some reasons why YOU shouldn’t obsess over value:

  1. It will put you in an imposter syndrome mindset. When you start obsessing over value, you’ll worry that you’re not worthy to meet with an executive. The end result? You’ll never actually ask for the meeting.
  2. It’s nearly impossible to know what you can bring to the table until you’ve actually met with a mentor. You simply won’t know what questions to ask or what kind of conversation it will be until you are in the same room together.

  3. You want this relationship to last. If you obsess over bringing value to the meeting, rather than having a simple, engaging conversation, it will feel like WORK for the already busy executive. And guess what? If it feels like work, they’re not going to want to do it again.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do AND how it can help you scale yourself to the c-suite, I invite you to join the waitlist for my new program, Executive Ahead of Time™.

Executive Ahead of Time is a 6-week small group intensive course that sets aspiring C-Suite executives up to move into their next promotion with ease.

We start in November. Go here to learn more and join the waitlist.

PS: If you have a question you’d like me to answer on one of my upcoming Your Promotability Factor Weekly Q&A, direct message me the answer to this question: “If you and I were to have 30-minutes together and you could get my input on anything, what specific questions would you have for me today, this week, this month?”

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