What makes a great mentor? Commando Joe’s top tips
Our Commando Joe’s instructors do it every day in schools across the country – but what does it really take to be a great mentor?
Inspiring young people is a huge part of what we do. We help them to build confidence, take risks, bounce back from failure and strive for success.
Last week, at a mentor training event, Prince Harry opened up about his Colour Sergeant at Sandhurst Military Academy, who motivated him to ‘push forward’ following the death of his mum, Princess Diana.
It got us thinking about the power of positive role models – how exactly certain people inspire us, and what a difference they can make to our lives.
Our national manager Dan Kelly shares his experience of a great mentor…
“When I was in the army in 2003, my superior was a man called Billy. He was our captain and quartermaster, about 15 years older than me, and he still inspires me today. ”
“Billy was responsible for overseeing all the equipment in the camp. He organised everything. I had to put a lot of trust and belief in him, to know that he had got my training right.”
“He was in a much more senior position but he really invested in me. He was firm but fair and we developed a mutual respect for each other which really built my confidence. He taught me to work hard and I was always learning from him. I think my work ethic today is down to Billy.”
“We all looked up to and respected him, so he never walked around shouting orders. Maybe it was through his years of experience, but he had an aura about him that you couldn’t teach.”
Dan’s top tips for being a positive role model to others
- Lead by example. Never give a job to anyone that you wouldn’t be happy doing yourself.
- Be approachable. It’s important to our Commando Joes and Janes that the pupils in their classes can approach them to chat, ask questions and get the most out of every activity.
- Listen to feedback. It’s the most effective way to improve.
- Build trust. By trusting the pupils in our schools, we encourage their development and creativity. A trusting environment means pupils aren’t afraid to make mistakes.
- Be willing to learn from failure. As part of our character education, we teach young people to deal with disappointment, learn from it and move on. This builds resilience and encourages them to bounce back from whatever life throws at them.