In Dan Rockwell's recent blog revealing Peter Drucker's 9 Functions of a Mentor, Rockwell lists 9 things a mentor should do. I wondered if he and, by extension, famed leadership theorist Drucker, were offering up CAKE or PIE Mentoring™ ideas.
Here's what I found:
- “Define the landscape.” Focus on details to get things done – see the landscape to plot a course. Mentors are fresh eyes. Could be either CAKE or PIE depending on the landscape being discussed.
- “Expose ‘white space’ – define opportunities – what is needed now.” Passion disconnected from meeting needs is wasted. Sincerity is not enough. Could be either CAKE or PIE depending on the landscape being discussed.
- “Clarify strengths and capacities.” Tapping untapped strengths represents new directions, deeper fulfillment, and greater fruitfulness. Sounds to me like the "A" in CAKE - Aptitude identifying
- “Identify incorrect assumptions.” Listen for limiting beliefs. More CAKE, this time the "C" for - Confidence building
- “Encouragement to ‘go for it.’” Great mentors inspire action. Dreaming big is only a beginning. Dreams without action drain vitality and affirm helplessness. Definitely the "E" in CAKE - Encouragement plain and simple.
- “Help sort out the right strategies.” Mentors bring strategic thinking to your personal strengths and individual passions. Sounds to me like one of the "As" in CAKE - Aspiration identification
- “Affirm results.” Success creates focus, fuels motivation, and confirms direction. Clearly the "C" in CAKE - Confidence building
- “Point out wasted effort.” Stopping is harder than starting. One the most challenging lessons in leadership is learning that trying harder doesn’t work, if you’re stuck. Mentors point out spinning wheels and flying mud. Another one of the "As" in CAKE - Attitude adjusting
- Establish “gentle accountability.” Accountability in mentoring relationships is an agreement. It’s not imposed by dictatorial mentors. Neither, this is a rule for the mentoring relationship.
What's the take-away?
If you want to make the most of mentoring, you have to take conventional guidance about mentoring with a large dose of salt - especially if you can't find a slice of PIE! PIE Mentoring is the key to filling in The Missing 33% and other key career success enablers.