Is there a line between Mentorship and Crippleship?


For 12 years years I worked for one of the largest telecommunication companies in the US. They offered a 6 month rotational mentor program where you were paired with senior executives within the company.  The executives would be from all areas of business within the company (Mobility, Small Business, Sales, etc).  Along with the executive mentor, there were about 6 to 8 mentees that were also in your mentor circle.  For the next six weeks, we would meet to discuss our career goals, individual development, role play for mock interviews, and proofread our resumes.  After the end of the six weeks, you would get paired with a new executive.  This mentoring program allowed me to connect and network with employees from different entities within the company and give me insight on what I wanted my next career move to be.

How does mentorship look today?  I do have a few friends that speak about his or her mentors, but what about the millennials today?  There was a young intern that worked with me at my current job.  He had recently graduated from a big university and was ready to start his career.  He grew frustrated because the supervisor he was reporting to failed to give him the guidance and support he felt he needed.  I had to explain to him my view on mentoring.  To be a true mentor, it requires commitment and time that some people aren’t willing to give.  I notice on social media every day, people leaving comments on a celebrity’s or successful person’s page saying, “I am a (singer, dancer, artist, entrepreneur) Can you please check out my page?”  Social media has made it so much more accessible for undiscovered talent and new business startups to connect with people digitally, that we no longer have to carry around a box of VistaPrint business cards hoping we would one day bump into our big break.

So what is a crippleship?  First off, I don’t even know if it is a real word.  A friend mine shared with me a statement that he tells his interns that want to be in music/showbiz, “I can teach you everything you need to know about this business, but passion.  Passion cannot be taught, you either have it or you don’t.”  He shared with me how different this generation is when it comes to “pursuing your dreams”. There may be some of you out there that do want the record deal, the senior level position, or the lead role on Broadway right now. Do you have the passion?  Are you willing to sacrifice your comfort?  Can you handle rejection?  Are you willing to listen and learn?  If I possessed all the knowledge and experience on lifestyle blogging and a new blogger came up to me and said, “I want to start a blog, can you help me?” In my mind, the question “Can you help me?” can mean a couple things. For example:

  1. Can you send me some resources or information to get started?
  2. Can you look at what I have already started and provide your feedback?
  3. Can you create my domain and content for me? (Crippleship)

Are you the person that just needs a little push and motivation to get started on your goals?  Or do you just want someone to hand you the blueprint? (Crippleship) I would like to consider myself a person that pays it forward. I can’t wait for the day when Golden Girl Life blog is known all over the world and that new blogger sends me a message inquiring on how he or she can have a successful blog. There is nothing wrong with being the person that only drops a few bread crumbs of knowledge versus the person that holds a Master Class to teach a person the trade.  Always remember, regardless of what stage that we are in with our careers, we each had a starting point like me.  I am thankful for all 3 of my WordPress followers, 2 Instagram followers, and 8 Twitter followers.

When was the last time you paid it forward to someone in your trade?  Share your comments.

Golden Girl