Young people desperately need good mentors

In Summary
  • We have a dearth of good mentors.
  • But we need good mentors to build great professionals, business people and leaders.

In today’s tough but fast-changing world , having a good mentor is like having a  gold mine in your own land and being free to exploit it. Good mentors are rare gems who can propel your life to an extent you actualise significant strengths and opportunities. It is difficult to get a mentor, leave alone a good one.

Few successful people or even those with ability have time or the willingness to mentor. Mentors can be part of the informal schooling which, combined with the formal system, can help many young people achieve their dreams.

It is tough to identify, leave alone get, a good mentor. Our society, for instance, has over time created a mentality of man eats all society. That is why even defeating ills like corruption and tribalism is a tough nut to crack.

Every now and then we complain over the many young people going to waste due to alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, gambling and other addictions or social ills. Unemployment is a big problem for lack of proper direction in career pursuits or even proper transitioning to adulthood.

Obviously part of combating some of this serious messy behaviour by young people is making sure the country is able to generate enough jobs for them. Without the economy performing and giving them an opportunity to build their lives economically, it is impossible to combat these self-destructive habits.

What of lack of direction and poor career attainment by many? What of those who get into their parents’ successful businesses but fail to make any headway? Many business empires are crumbling under the weight of mismanagement and endless fights by heirs? These kinds of mess grace our Kenyan media regularly. Trace the problem carefully and you will find many gaps, especially poor succession planning and/or lack of proper mentorship.

In a society with a scarcity mentality, where corruption is glorified and many are poor, getting mentors is certainly difficult. Moreover, we have lived with a lot of economic pressures for a growing population for long. 

We have a dearth of good mentors. But we need good mentors to build great professionals, business people and leaders. A society also depends on how values, knowledge and skills are passed on across generations.

Managing partner, Watermark Consultants