In CPA firms, we often find that we have more people who want and need a mentor than we have qualified mentors to counsel them.

Should this stop the firm from having a successful mentoring program?  No way.  Try using Mentoring Circles where an experienced mentor leads discussion groups and guides several mentees at one time.  

The old traditional way of mentoring has changed drastically from the days when the Baby Boomers were beginning their career.

Experiment with these ideas in your firm:

Old Rule:  Mentors and mentees should have a lot in common.  New Rule:  The best matches are mis-matches.

Old Rule:  Look for your mentor higher-up on the food chain.  New Rule:  A good mentor is anyone from whom you can learn.

Old Rule:  Mentoring is one-on-one.  New Rule:  Mentoring works best when you mix and match.

Old Rule:  Mentors pick their mentees.  New Rule:  Mentees pick their mentors.

Old Rule:  You are either a mentor or a mentee.  New Rule:  Everyone needs mentors.

"The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have." - - Norman Vincent Peale

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Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She is a former shareholder and administrative partner in a successful, regional CPA firm and has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations. She works with firms across the country focusing on people, partners and internal management issues.

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