A Boss or a Mentor?

Written by: Zena D’souza

Think about it!

What would you want to be known as– A boss or a mentor?

I am sure everyone in the early stage of his/her career has been mentored by someone senior. It could be a formal mentor/mentee relationship or it could be an unofficial mentoring done by a senior colleague. And as we have grown in our respective careers, I am sure most of us would like to be remembered as mentors and not just as bosses. Easier said than done for sure!

Oxford dictionary defines a mentor as – ‘An experienced person who advises and helps somebody with less experience over a period of time’. So being a mentor means being knowledgeable, experienced, and having the willingness to share knowledge with others. It also means being available for your mentees, helping when needed, cajoling, providing feedback, being honest, being a guide/ coach, being a friend at times, and serving as a role model. Whew! It’s a tall order and this is just the tip of many things that a mentor needs to be. Easier being a boss than performing such multiple roles. Yes! mentorship is difficult – at times it’s a thankless role that has no public recognition or rewards.

If so, then why do we have such great mentors who are ready to give their time, patiently guide and coach us – at times give feedback that could reduce us to tears but also stand by us to make sure we become the best versions of ourselves. I think there is sublime satisfaction in seeing a protégé do well. There is no recognition or reward that is as intoxicating or sweet as a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ from a mentee who has grown under your mentorship.

As the new year begins, I would like to thank all the mentors who have helped me to become what I am today. May I continue to get your guidance and your blessings and be a mentor myself someday.

Happy New Year Everyone! May we strive to become the best version of ourselves this year– after all, we have 365 days to make the best of it.


Zena D'souza