Sustainable Mentoring: How to Help People Without Burning Up Your Time, Energy Or Networking Bridges

by Shannon Houde
Jun 4, 2015 1:30 PM ET


The greatest leaders are the ones who empower others to be the best they can be. If you aspire to being a great leader, then supporting the people beneath you on the career ladder can be an excellent way of developing your leadership skills, while also boosting your enthusiasm for your work and enhancing your networks. As Art Markman writes on, " Mentoring is a valuable source of energy when you find your own work motivation flagging."

As sustainability professionals, we're always telling people why doing good is good for business. But sometimes we forget that the same logic applies in our own lives too: doing good is good for our careers. Through mentoring others we can enhance our own job satisfaction and invigorate our sense of impact, we can advance our own personal development by honing our listening and interpersonal skills, and we can benefit the organisations we work for by opening to new insights and ideas from younger or fresher minds. In my experience from working with and coaching more than 3,000 sustainability practitioners over the past decade, I’ve seen first hand that mentoring relationships are a common ingredient in the most effective impact leaders. 

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Shannon Houde, MBA, is founder of Walk of Life Consulting Limited, an international career advisory business focused solely on the sustainability, social impact, international development and Corporate Responsibility (CR) fields.  For more than 15 years she has mentored and trained 700+ professionals and Masters graduates to maximise their personal brands to advance their impact careers.