Managers as Mentors, Third Edition by Chip R. Bell & Marshall Goldsmith - Book review

Managers as Mentors

Building Partnerships for Learning, Third Edition

By: Chip R. Bell, Marshall Goldsmith

Published: June 3, 3013
Format: Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 160994710X
ISBN-13: 978-1609947101
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

"What is mentoring? At its most basic level, it is simply the act of helping another learn. However, the relationship between helper and helpee changes significantly when performed as a learning partnership rather than the traditional teaching “parentship (master teaches apprentice)", write senior partner with the Chip Bell Group, Chip R. Bell; and internationally recognized thought leader Marshall Goldsmith, in the completely revised third edition of their very practical and engaged partnership based book Managers as Mentors: Building Partnerships for Learning, Third Edition. The authors describe a fresh approach to the concept of the relationship between the mentor and the protege that emphasizes the relationship as a mutually beneficial partnership in place of the traditional teacher and pupil dynamic.

Chip R. Bell (photo left) and Marshall Goldsmith recognize the important distinction between the concepts of mentors and of coaches. While coaching focuses on improving performance, the authors point out that the role of the mentor is to facilitate learning. The central element of the book is the overall philosophy of partnership between people.

The authors offer the perspective that both the mentor and the mentee are learning during the process, and that the more they learn, the more they will accomplish and achieve in their roles. In the end, the authors offer an alternative role for managers and employees, as mentors and colleagues in the ongoing learning and leadership development process.

Marshall Goldsmith (photo left) and Chip R. Bell recognize the critical importance of attracting and retaining top quality employees within the organization. The authors are keenly aware of the transformation of managerial roles in the modern, flatter companies. To facilitate the new role for managers and leaders, the successful organization has adapted and became a teaching and learning location. With this change has risen the importance of mentors as teachers and also as learners with their partner proteges.

The authors break down this new form of learning and sharing of wisdom into the new partnership role of mentorship. The authors divide the book into seven overarching sections to facilitate understanding and facilitating this new learning based organization. The seven parts of the book are as follows:

* Mentoring is...
* Surrendering: Leveling the learning field
* Accepting: Creating a safe haven for risk taking
* Gifting: The main event
* Extending: Nurturing a self-directed learner
* Special conditions
* The mentor's tool kit

For me, the power of the book is how Chip R. Bell and Marshall Goldsmith combine a comprehensive framework for transforming the concept of mentors, with the hands on skills necessary to achieve success for both the mentor and the mentee. The authors offer a completely updated and revised version of their classic book on mentoring, and add even more value and new tools to make the mentor and protege roles even more effective. The authors also include a crucial presentation and vision of life after the mentor is longer there.

The authors provide a complete case study at the conclusion of each chapter to illustrate the principles in action in the real world. With the book's central focus on learning as a partnership between the manager as mentor, and the colleague, co-worker, or team member as co-creator in the learning process, is brought into clarity with hte case studies. The book is set up in a logical format, where the various concepts lead naturally to one another, and also are shown to be integrated into a holistic overall perspective.

I highly recommend the very clear and concise book Managers as Mentors: Building Partnerships for Learning, Third Edition by Chip R. Bell and Marshall Goldsmith, to any leaders and managers who are seeking a powerful and learning based alternative to the traditional form of mentoring. This book will transform your organization into a mutual learning and collaborative culture where lifelong learning leads to greater success.

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