How to Be The Best Possible Mentor – Work In Sports Podcast

Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning for WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast…

I know I probably say this all the time…but I am on a hot streak lately for great guests.

Last week Melissa Silberman Director of Partnership Activation for the Atlanta Hawks really brought it. Great info and insight. Later this week, Ameena Soliman Player Personnel Coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles will blow you away.

She is so impressive — focused, measured, direct — just totally in control, which I loved. 

Last week I also conducted interviews with Neeta Sreekanth COO of INFLCR – for those of you who follow me on LinkedIn likely saw mee share a photo with Neeta posing with Ken Griffey JR. while being photobombed by Trey Wingo. 

Here is a professional woman barely across 30 – and she’s already worked in key roles for the Dallas Cowboys and ESPN prior to joining INFLCR — so cool.

And Kevin Brown — Director of Community Relations for the Detroit Red Wings and Director of the Detroit Red Wings foundation — Kevin is another one, so insightful, so passionate and so driven to make a difference in the world. He uses sports as a way to make a positive change in the community — it is so inspiring.

Ameena debuts later this week —then Neeta…then Kevin… so stay tuned and subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss a thing.

Alright today’s question comes in from me. 

Let me explain. 

The impact of covid hits us all. 

Feels weird to hear someone you respect in the industry so much can be let go, like wait, that’s a thing? Makes you fear for yourself a bit…  if they can be removed, who the hell am I? 

My dad got laid off when I was a kid and I remember feeling like — wait, that’s possible? He’s superman. 

Makes you feel vulnerable. 

But it’s also a chance to give — I’ve been connecting my guy with my contacts for the last few days and that feels good, the ability to pay him back for all he’s done for me, even if just in some small way. 

BUT. the reason I am saying this week question comes from me is because — it does. 

The question is “how do you become a strong mentor to others?”

Everyone has a chance to mentor others, even if you are a college student, you can lead high schoolers and underclassmen. 

Mentoring makes a difference — so let’s talk about how this works and then I’m going to give you examples from being mentored by my guy, Steve Becker. 

1:  There is no set it and forget it process to mentoring…everyone you mentor is different, so everyone needs different things from you. Don’t try to fit the experience into your world, be flexible.

2: Understand your mentee – what motivates them? what are their goals? what are their roadblocks? How do these things line up with your skills?

3:  Be vulnerable — admit mistakes, missteps — etc there is noting that connects you more with people than resisting the urge to be a know it all. No one want to be around people who think they have it all down. 

4: Treat your mentee with respect. 

Your mentor becomes part of your team.

5: Lead by example – model the behavior you want to see. 

Listen in to this episode of the Work In Sports podcast to hear more detail and actionable advice for becoming the best possible mentor.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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