By Marc Meybaum
“Mentorship is the voluntary developmental relationship that exists between a person of greater experience and a person of lesser experience that is characterized by mutual trust and respect.”
– AR 600-100: Army Profession and Leadership Policy
As a young leader I had heard leaders implore my peers and I to seek out mentorship, yet I was reluctant to do so. There was the fear of approaching a person who was older, wiser, and more accomplished and asking them to mentor me. Also, early in my career, I had a limited professional network and was still cultivating relationships; I was simply not sure who to ask. This is not to say I did not learn from more experienced professionals around me. I have benefited tremendously from the formal and informal counsel of commanders, supervisors, senior NCOs, and others. However, I could not yet fully appreciate the benefits of having mentors who not only know you but know your strengths, your weaknesses, and your character. Despite these early shortcomings, mentors found me. At crucial moments, the people I most admire in this profession took it upon themselves to foster this relationship.