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How many people are you a mentor for?

1 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How many people are you a mentor for?

  • 0: 15.13%
  • 1: 14.15%
  • 2 to 4: 42.16%
  • 5 or more: 28.57%

That’s a lot of mentoring. Many of you have numerous mentoring relationships (more than five, in many cases). The question I’ll pose is whether that’s too many. While it’s great for the ego to say we mentor many people, is that the best solution for the mentees? Sure, it’s great to help other people grow and develop, but are you giving them the focus they need to move their careers forward? Can you truly give them what they need as well as take care of members of your team? If you’re spreading yourself a little thin, there’s nothing wrong with ending a mentoring relationship so you can give fewer people a more focused effort.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”