A Model of Mentoring Relationships

The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Do Life and Leadership Well
Here is a model I have found to be very useful. It is useful for my own life and personal growth. And it is useful for my work as a mentor.

mentoring model, peer mentors, finding mentors, being a mentor

See yourself as the Person at the Center of the Diagram. Now, follow these questions in light of the Bobby Clinton definition of mentoring. "Mentoring is the relational transfer of resources from one person who has them to another person who needs them" (a close paraphrase).

ONE: You need mentors.

  • Who are the people who invest in your life?
  • Who are the people who are transferring their resources of wisdom, experience, skills, values and so on to you?
  • Who is sponsoring you?
  • Who is providing you with opportunities, that by your self, you would not have them?
  • Who is committed to your well being and moving into your full potential?
  • Who do you know that you would LOVE for them to mentor you? 
  • What are you waiting for? Ask them...

I have had many mentors in my life. Do not assume only one person can mentor (transfer resources) you. You will do best if you have several people with real competency in different areas who can build into your life.

So - how are you doing on having mentors?

TWO: You are invited to mentor others.

  • What resources do you have to transfer to others (what are your areas of competency and strength)?
  • Who are you investing in right now (transferring to them what you have)?
  • Who do you see that could benefit if you began to invest in them?
  • Who are you currently connected to, already giving them some things, but you could become much more strategic in your work as a mentor?

On a daily basis, you should look to transfer something to someone. Spontaneously, informally, as opportunities present themselves. 

You should also have at least one (and preferably several) people in whom you are building, investing, serving, resourcing, providing, lifting them up with as MUCH AS YOU CAN GIVE. I think this is one of the great ways of understanding the biblical theme - "blessed to be a blessing."

Pay it forward, make disciples, mentor othersFor my own life, ministry and leadership - I do a lot of mentoring. The kinds of mentoring I do vary, because I have a fair amount of different resources to offer others. For some I am a leadership coach. For others I provide spiritual direction. I offer life coaching and career coaching for people (especially leaders). I train people in communication. I am an idea person for theology and culture for some others. The point is that I have worked to gain resources. Then I am fully committed to transfer to other those resources.

This to me is the power of Pay It Forward. Be sure to see that movie to be HIGHLY INSPIRED. This idea of paying it forward was central to the mission of the Lord Jesus and his lead apostle - Paul. See Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Timothy 2:2.

THREE: The Peers and Friends in Your Life.

This one is a little different in that these mentoring relationships are ones of mutual, reciprocal investing in one another. We all have friends and companions in our lives with whom we are on the same level. We are further ahead in some things. They are further along in others. You have some areas of interest and competency. They have others. And there are things you share together where you are both good at.  Here is the real question to think through:

  • How can you be much more intentional and strategic about maximizing the relationships you have with others to you are peer mentors?
  • What are the "iron sharpening iron" ways you can improve your peer mentoring with one another?


This is a very useful model to think about finding and growing the mentoring relationships God wants you to have. It will be one of the most worthwhile things you will ever do.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International