Happy "First Day of Fall" - (we are sorry...we are in denial too!)

We have had an exciting start to the Fall because ZOE Leadership was officially launched!  

Our first course, IDENTITY is already being used in small group settings across Canada.  (If you want to know more, email us HERE.)

Our aim with ZOE Leadership is to encourage women to be strategic with their lives.  We know that Canadian women want to "make a difference" at home and abroad, but don't always know how to do that.  ZOE Leadership is here to help!  

The ZOE blog will regularly feature leadership items that will be an encouragement to those growing in their influence. 

Today's post is from Elyse Brouwer.  She is a gifted young woman who serves as a Pastor on the staff of Westwinds Church in Surrey, B.C.


5 Reasons Why Leaders Need Mentors by Elyse Brouwer

I am convinced that for any woman in leadership (however it may look in their lives), having a mentor is essential for personal, professional, and spiritual development. Regardless of age, position, or life stage, everyone can benefit from the influence of a mentor- someone whose wisdom, encouragement, and advice they can trust and take to heart. Not sure? Here are 5 reasons why you (yes, you) need a mentor:

1) Mentors help you grow

Elyse Brouwer

Having a mentor can be a great catalyst for growth. Bill Hybels, in his book Courageous Leadership, wrote that, “All the effective leaders I have ever talked to can point back to someone who sacrificed time and energy to grow them up as leaders.” (pg. 125) Find someone who has skills or gifts you’d like to develop in yourself, or a seasoned leader that’s a few steps down the road from where you are. Ask them questions about their experiences and what they’ve learned through them. Ask for their input or perspective on challenges you’re facing in your spiritual life, your workplace, or in your personal life. You’ll get wiser as you listen to their experiences, increase in self-awareness as they give feedback, and grow in confidence as they pray and encourage you.

2) Mentors give you new perspectives

No two people think in exactly the same way, nor do they have the exact same experiences. When mentors give input, they often shine light on new angles or perspectives that we may have missed or overlooked when considering a challenge.

There’s a great passage in Exodus 18 regarding Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro. Moses sits down to judge the people, as he has always done. The people line up in front of him from morning to night. Jethro observes this, points out to Moses that this is not the most effective way to help the people resolve their conflicts, and advises him to share this responsibility with other leaders that could do the job with competence and integrity. This would be healthier for Moses, and allow other leaders to grow in their capabilities as well. 

Moses listens to his father-in-law, and everyone wins. Don’t overlook the value that different perspectives can bring to your leadership- Moses definitely didn’t!

3) Mentors enable you to face tougher challenges

The more time we spend with mentors getting feedback, advice, and new perspectives, the more equipped we are to make better decisions next time in the face of tougher challenges. Hearing about how your mentor has responded to a challenge or tough decision in the past may not give you an exact 5-step process for your challenging situation, but it can certainly give you guidelines and principles to follow that can be extremely helpful (not to mention, it can keep you from having to learn the hard way). 

4) Mentors can be your advocates

Not every mentoring relationship looks the same way, but in my own experience, my mentors have been my best advocates. A good mentor will champion you to others, provide opportunities for you to develop your skills in meaningful ways, and be a cheerleader for you as you take risks and step out of your comfort zone. Paul certainly did this for Timothy, his young protege. Paul provided opportunities for Timothy to travel with him (Acts 16:1-3), and continued to encourage and support Timothy as he ministered in various churches, specifically Ephesus (1 and 2 Timothy). Timothy was also given the opportunity to collaborate with Paul on various letters to different churches (cf. Rom. 16:21). 

5) Mentors help you mentor

In the book Gifted to Lead, by Nancy Beach, she writes, “I am still stunned by the thirst for mentoring I see in the next generation of leaders, both men and women… the kingdom will not advance unless we are willing to humbly turn around and lend a hand to raise up the leaders of tomorrow.” (pg. 168-169) Good leaders develop other leaders. If you are being mentored, you will be better equipped to be a mentor to other men/women/children under your influence. 

As you dive into a new school year and a new season, I would challenge you to take a look around you and ask yourself if there is anyone whose mentorship you could benefit from. Chances are, you will see plenty of people that you can learn from and be developed by. Ask them to join you for coffee and a chat about life, work, leadership, etc. You won’t regret it!