Share Your Leadership Gems with a Mentee

Your leadership journey is personal and can unearth some valuable and unique lessons. One of the best things you can do with the gems of wisdom you acquire is to share them with a mentee. Master the art of mentoring, and you could inspire the success of many young leaders.

Help from a Master Mentor

Oprah Winfrey is known for heart-to-heart broadcasts with high-profile figures and generous talk show giveaways. Her daytime program was one of the most influential in history.

But there’s a lot more to her than popular TV. Besides being one of the wealthiest women in the world with a net worth of $3.5 billion, her philanthropic efforts have empowered women, developed essential education initiatives, and alleviated poverty in many challenged communities.

Her rise from a humble and traumatic childhood to a global impact maker is a sensational story of academic success, determination, and business finesse. And weaved into that story is a mentorship from an extraordinary human being.

Maya Angelou, poet, activist and remarkable woman of courage whose own personal story is an inspiring victory, crossed paths with Oprah in 1986. The two began a lifelong friendship, with Maya taking on the role of mentor – a stance which profoundly influenced Oprah’s growth.

Discovering Purpose in Giving Back

Maya Angelou’s authenticity, relationship-building skills, transformative approach and focus on the process of learning made her a superb mentor. She was also driven by a desire to share her lessons.

Oprah’s mentorship experience is a powerful example. On the one side, you have the mentor, an experienced individual who has discovered a purpose in giving back. On the other, you have the mentee: receptive, coachable and hungry for development.

Add chemistry and a structured learning approach, and you have potential magic. When it comes together, the mentor can impart valuable lessons that may influence the mentee’s growth to a greater degree than many other development interventions.

Businesses Thrive with Strong Mentorship

Effective mentorship programs that focus on learning and knowledge transfer are perfect for helping young leaders tap into their greatness. In Oprah’s case, the guidance she received combined with her attitude, raised her leadership trajectory many times over.

Mentorship can be just as impactful on an organisational level. It fast-tracks skills transfer, enhances inter-departmental cooperation, and increases employee engagement and retention. The mentors also experience a rewarding sense of self-fulfilment in watching their mentees grow.

Sasol is a dedicated advocate of coaching and mentoring in developing quality leaders and specialists within the company. Sasol’s initiatives extend beyond their company walls too. Through the Sasol Foundation in South Africa, it supports the career development of eager young mentees by linking them with experienced professionals.

Discovery Limited is another mentorship champion. Founder and CEO Adrian Gore has launched a new mentorship program to support black and coloured actuarial scientists in their career aspirations by taking the existing Fellowship Awards further. These mentees will be supported through mentoring, sponsoring, networking, and relationship building. Gore believes that these future actuarial leaders may well be the catalysts for broader transformation in the sector.

Both Sasol and Discovery have strong learning and development cultures. We at Change Partners are grateful and proud to have the opportunity to support these companies and others with various mentoring, facilitation, and coaching interventions.

Effective Mentorship Helps Young Leaders Rise

At Change Partners, we understand leadership development and the potential that can be unlocked when young leaders are given the chance to draw wisdom from the more experienced ones.

So, we’ve developed The Change Partners Mentorship Program to help mentors discover their purpose and give them the skills to provide an exceptional learning experience. This program also helps mentees learn critical skills to ensure they ask the right questions and get the most out of their time spent with an experienced leader. It also provides structural tools to hold mentors and mentees accountable, keep the relationship focused on success factors, and ensure that each session is valuable.

Maya Angelou said, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” As leaders, living this ethos and empowering others with what has helped us succeed may change more lives than we could ever imagine.

With a diverse team of professionals experienced in unlocking leadership excellence, and tuned to the future of leadership development, Change Partners is perfectly positioned to help you advance.

Pauliina Mapatha is an International Executive Coach at Change Partners with a wealth of experience in human-centric, inclusive leadership development. She is passionate about helping individuals and teams in building a thriving organisational culture. Contact her at or on 072 215 8797 to help you build a mentorship culture that creates a space for the experienced to give back and young leaders to access their greatness.

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