Challenges in Mentoring – Part 2

(Continued from Challenges in Mentoring – Part 1)

Below are some of the common issues that I faced during my decades of mentoring. I hope you will get one of two things from them.

Quick solution

People want the solution but not the process. They want the answer, not the formula. They are looking for a quick fix or a ‘takeaway’ advice. They want to put 5 minutes effort to reach the top. They are unwilling to wait or pay the price. They want to get there next month, not in 5 years’ time or 10 years’ time like I did.

Refuse Advice

People do not follow advice, that is, they choose to disregard the wise advice and follow their own way of doing things. When you tell them how things work, they look at you and think ‘what’s wrong with you. You just want to make things difficult.’ It’s not absence of wisdom or mentors but absence of common sense and first time obedience.

Immature Protégé

Immaturity of protégé in relation to the achievements being pursued. It is like a 7 year old saying ‘teach me to drive.’ The level of zeal does not match the current wisdom. Over zealousness caused many unnecessary heart aches, and make one vulnerable to deceit.


This is common mostly to men. They rarely come to seek advice and mentorship. They think either they know it all or they will figure it out. Well, they always figure it out when it is too late to produce good results, and that they should have just asked those who know. This is often well complemented by arrogance; a feeling of superiority and pride that is in most cases not accompanied by tangible results.


Some people come seeking to be mentored but want to compete with their mentors. They want to ‘beat’ me. If you want to succeed ask better questions and make use of the answers you receive. They always think ‘he is a man just like me. I can do what he do.’ Well the truth is you can’t, because I am unique. What they don’t realise is that I have my own set of skills that I have developed over the years. They also have a set of skills. If we put our skills together we can achieve a lot. We don’t have what it takes but our God has what it takes.

Bad Belief Systems

Most mentees are unwilling to change their belief systems. They come to you with a perceptions and proposed solutions. And when you look at them they are just rubbish and will sink this poor guy deeper into his hole. On the other hand the guy does not want to let go, because all his friends are saying this is the right way. And that’s why your friends are not successful. You have to be ready to get out of the herd and be different. If you do what they do you will get what they are getting.

Seeking Financial Dependence

It is common for a mentee to want to be a financial dependent on the mentor. The fact that someone is mentoring you does not make you his or her child. And the mentor might be having a number of mentees at the time. Do not become a mentee just for financial benefit. Remember you want the formula so that you can make your one results any time you want.

Postponing Sowing

They believe there is a better day coming. A day they will have enough money to study. ‘My salary is too little for me to study,’ they always say. What they do not know is that the seed is always smaller than the harvest. Some also despise certain colleges and hope to get it to this reputable college later. They do not understand the principle of starting small, and compound effect. By the way starting small is different from thinking small.

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