Successful Mentoring and Its Key Components

Full bibliographic information of source

Zachary, L. J., & Fischler, L. A. (2010). Those who lead, mentor. T+D, 64(3), 52–57.

Stated research question and thesis

The paper aims to discover what contributes to successful mentoring. The authors believe that the results depend on the steps organizational leaders make to ensure high mentoring standards across the board and suggest that this can be achieved through implementing the five exemplary leadership practices introduced by Kouzes and Posner (Zachary & Fischler, 2010).

Major argument and refutations

Successful mentors should be eager to give their mentees chances to learn by example, sharing their experiences. They should inspire a shared vision motivating their mentees to look at the bigger picture, helping them discover their potential. Leaders should also challenge people they are mentoring to do things they have not done before, encouraging their growth. Consequently, they should be able to inspire people to act, which should start from listening. It is also crucial that mentors demonstrate a sincere interest in their mentees development, establishing a supportive relationship.

Implications of research

A person who aspires to become a mentor should evaluate and improve their competence in these five aspects. They should learn how to motivate others, identify lessons that could be derived from their experience. They must also approach mentoring with an open heart, being ready to listen, support, and celebrate successes. The five leadership practices suggested by Kouzes and Posner can also be successfully implemented at the organizational level. Leaders should develop their own mentoring skills and build a productive mentoring relationship while encouraging competent mentoring at all levels of an organization, setting high-quality standards.

Critique of author’s work including methods

This is a narrative article that develops a theoretical perspective of the application of Kouzes and Posner’s leadership model to mentoring with some examples provided to illustrate the statements. Therefore, the article lacks a methodology section, and, consequently, firm support for its claims. The arguments, however, are persuasive; the conclusion is clear and corresponds with the research of that time (Saban & Wolfe, 2009). The implications are also distinctly outlined.

Research questions raised

  1. What contributes to successful mentoring?
  2. Can Kouzes and Posner’s exemplary leadership practices be applied to mentoring?
  3. How can individuals and organizations employ them?

Quotes that can be used towards mentorship and business

“Good leaders and good mentors create a collaborative partnership of mutual respect and provide ongoing feedback to lends support to their mentees.” (Zachary & Fischler, 2010, p. 56).

“Good intention is not enough to make a good leader a good mentor. Practice, performance, and a desire to improve are also important.” (Zachary & Fischler, 2010, p. 57).


Saban, J., & Wolfe, S. (2009). Mentoring principals around leadership practices. Catalyst for Change, 36(1), 2–6.

Zachary, L. J., & Fischler, L. A. (2010). Those who lead, mentor. T+D, 64(3), 52–57.

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