What role does mentoring play in Hollywood? How do we relate that to corporate mentoring?
Todd Leopold wrote an article for CNN recently about Actor Bradley Cooper's (The Hangover, Limitless) mentor, Elizabeth Kemp titled "Actress Role of a Lifetime: Being a Mentor." According to the article, Cooper was an acting student of Kemp's and says "I was never able to relax in my life before...The most sacred experience I ever had was in [her class]. No question about it."
The story goes on to talk about the important role mentoring plays in an actor's life. I found so many of the quotes relatable also to corporate mentoring.
Below are some of the article's quotes from Kemp, Cooper, and Leopold regarding mentoring. There is plenty here for us corporate mentors and mentorees to digest. I might suggest you print this blog and tack it on your bulletin board. Maybe even review some of these thoughtful words before your next mentoring meeting!
"It may not feel comfortable, and it's probably not glamorous. But it's the truth. And truth forces them to go places they didn't know they could go. It's a two-way street."-Leopold
"She (Kemp) prods them. She challenges them. She gives them an environment where they feel protected, and then she works to break down their defenses."-Leopold
"Mentoring can be instrumental to fostering creativity."-Leopold
"We stand on the shoulders of giants, it is said, but those shoulders don't have to belong to innovators and geniuses. Sometimes they belong to unheralded people whose probing questions, thoughtful guidance and unadorned encouragement push us in new directions. Their impact can be transformative."-Leopold
"You help them grow into parts of themselves that they didn't even know they had."-Kemp
"Good acting requires vulnerability and often actors are their own worst critics...goal is to allow students to trust themselves 'just enough to take a chance, to be daring, to go into the unknown and discover. It's a very delicate balance.' "-Kemp
"She made it safe," he says. "She made us realize that you have to use all of yourself. She just made it OK, OK to be yourself with all your faults and your fears and insecurities -- they were all brought out to the light and she insisted that you be vulnerable and put it all out there; there was no sort of faking."-Cooper
"When the mentor-student relationship crystallizes, the potential for development is greatest. 'By pushing yourself to those limits, you tap into resources unknown...that's when the real growth occurs.' " -Kemp
"Such mentoring can have long-term payoffs -- both on stage and elsewhere. In a corporate situation, researchers have found that what motivates employees most isn't money or recognition, but a sense of progress being made: that they're learning, growing and moving forward. A mentor can provide the encouragement or experience to foster that."-Leopold
"Effective mentoring is about the "feedback sandwich": Genuinely acknowledge the student's investment of time and energy -- sometimes, that means simply the courage to show up -- offer alternatives, and then suggest getting other feedback. Because the mentor can't do everything."-Leopold