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Key Idea: Mentor Others

Just as you need a mentor, you need to establish mentoring relationships within your own business and consider mentoring outside of the business as part of your community service.  More...

Key Question:


Take time to help others succeed.  This is a form of giving, and when we give of ourselves we give the greatest gift we have.

Q: Why are mentoring relationships important within a business?

A: Mentoring in a business environment is a form of coaching and nurturing. Nurtured employees develop to their full potential, have strong loyalties to their employer, and maintain a strong work ethic. Mentoring is not cross-training or providing employees with new skills. Just as you reserve your precious time with your mentor to think strategically, to concentrate on the forest and not the trees, the time the Mentor-Protégé within the business spend together is focused on the strategic plan of the employee and how it fits with the strategic plan of the company.

Mentoring relationships within a company may be informal, formal, or both. Informal mentoring relationships should be fostered between all supervisor-subordinate relationships throughout the company, regardless of its size. We should communicate with those who report to us as mentors. This means nurturing the employee by the manner in which we speak to him or her, praising them for a job well done, and correcting them, when necessary, in a constructive manner.

Formal mentoring relationships, where a mentor is assigned a specific individual to mentor, may also be appropriate in your business, particularly if you have a key employee nearing retirement age (perhaps you) and an heir apparent within the company for the same position. Establishing a mentor-protégé relationship now forces the pair to spend some time together outside of their respective operational functions and reporting lines. It puts the corporate imprimatur on conversations between the two about the challenges of the senior position, the opportunities for enhancing its role and responsibilities within the company, and a myriad of topics that might otherwise never come up. Providing the heir apparent an appropriate venue for mining the intellectual capital of the executive about to retire will reap enormous benefit when the heir is on his or her own.

Think about it

What kind of mentoring relationships do you see in your business? Should you be doing more to encourage mentoring among your employees?

Clip from: INDUS - Diversity & Mentoring

From Just a Job to Being an Owner

Washington, DC: In 1979 Shiv Krishnan arrived here from Madras, India to go to college. He got a job and was doing well.  But in 1991 he risked everything to start his own business.  INDUS would be a technology innovator.  He did well. Today this company has 500+ employees and major clients including the US government.  They do Geographic Information Systems (GIS), database management, data warehousing and  mining, and more.

This story is about an immigrant to America. Like so many, he came with nothing, got a job to save money to start a business. When he put it all at risk,  he knew his safety net was to go get another job.  It wasn't easy... but that's the USA. This country is a beacon and inspiration to the entrepreneurial spirit within all of humanity.  When freedom rings,  new songs are written!

Shiv is a person who is open to learning from everyone. He empowers that  attitude among his employees, his suppliers, and his customers. He mentors people and he is always open to being mentored.  INDUS is part of SAIC's Mentor-Protégé program which has helped this business to grow. 

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INDUS Corporation

Shiv Krishnan, Founder

1951 Kidwell Drive, Eighth Floor
Vienna, VA 22182

Visit our web site:

Office: 7035066700

Business Classification:
Information Services

Year Founded: 1991

Mentor Others

HATTIE: (Voiceover) And achieving for Shiv means helping others.

SHIV: Good morning. Everybody's here.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) He not only mentors the hundreds on his payroll. He is a mentor to graduate students and the leadership at George Mason University.

SHIV: How can we help?

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Here he discusses curriculum with the Dean of the School of Management, Richard Klimoski.

RICHARD KLIMOSKI: We want to reduce the knowing/doing gap. So we're very interested in both theory and practice. Practice and theory.

SHIV: Can you give me an update on what's going on?

HATTIE: (Voiceover) On a busy day, Shiv is caught in the hallway by J. Richard Knop, founder, Chairman and co-CEO of Windsor Group Investment Banking.

J. RICHARD KNOP: They need to make over some infrastructure, need to add some business development capability.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Shiv serves on his board, invests and they call on him to mentor new entrepreneurs.

SHIV: Make it into a win, win, win. We all make money and doing great stuff.


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