There comes a time when mentoring looses its effectiveness and/or appropriateness. To mentor, most generally, is to model behavior. Knowing when to switch up my approach or exit will help me not to outlive my usefulness.
Mentoring is no longer effective when my mentee desires to be someone different than who I am, to go further than I have gone, expresses different core values, wants to be a pioneer/charts his own path, mistrust my authority or mistrust authority in general.
I maintain usefulness when I switch to coaching, connecting my mentee to other relationships that may prove helpful, cheerleading.
Who you use to build your organizational culture is equally as important as the culture type you choose. Choose construction materials to match or supersede the integrity of the culture-to-be.
I value the influence of people who help to direct my life. In a recent personal experience, I observed a good leader talk me though a decision that he has made for his company—to hire outside the company for a position which mission is to primarily establish a culture of developing team members and promoting from the inside.
At a minimum, it is unfortunate when good leaders make decisions that undermine values because any progress is weakened compared to decisions that align with chosen values.
Yes, hypocritical decisions happen at times. But why? What drives hypocrisy in acts of good intent.
In the above circumstance, it came down to timing. The leader made the hiring decision at the point of personal, professional exhaustion—in his schedule and emotionally.
As one leader has put it, exhaustion makes cowards of us all.
Note to self: decide before I am forced to decide. This timing, when emotion is less of a driver, may help me to better keep aligned my decisions and values.