THE TIME FACTOR OF MENTORSHIP

                                             Antonio Baldovinos | Leadership


I went to give my five-year-old son a hug yesterday. When I hugged him I was so overwhelmed with the smell of cologne that I almost couldn’t be next to him.

But this cologne I recognized—it was mine. My son had put it in his hair and all over his body, and a lot of it!

And so I asked, “where did you get the cologne, and why is it in your hair?”

He responded with, “I saw you do it.” My son had watched me in the morning spray the mist in the air, and it looked as though it was directed at my hair. Thinking that I threw the cologne in my hair, he copied me and put it in his hair too.

I took the opportunity to show him how to properly put cologne on.

This is a picture, in a small way, of mentoring. We all learn through watching, and hopefully someone will tell us why they do what they do.

When I speak of mentorship, the cost is very, very high.


The way I view mentorship is shadowing or following someone while learning and asking questions of them.

Mentorship has a process:

1.  Information—someone tells what and why something is done.

2.  Imitation—this information is imitated, and again with some tweaks and time.

3.  Innovation—Finally with the guidelines already established, the person innovates and creates from their own personality and experience. But they multiply from strength.

 Mentoring is to show and to tell why something is done. Shadowing can be mentoring for a job skill, learning to cook, becoming a parent, and so on.


Regardless of the job or the task, mentoring is a costly thing, just on the time commitment alone. We have to view mentoring with this view in hand, both when mentoring and being mentored.

To properly mentor is to invest time, energy, and even reenact steps for others to learn from.

If we view mentorship like this then we will see that there are not too many people that we can actually mentor.

This also means that others will need to rise up and mentor as well. I place a high value upon everyone mentoring and everyone being mentored, but with this perspective.

A counseling, advice driven relationship is not mentorship; it is seeking advice. Asking for advice is valuable and needed, but that’s not how I would define true mentorship.


The reason I believe that everyone should mentor and everyone should be mentored is for two reasons:

1.  Without understanding how to learn and receive, you cannot properly lead.

2.  One of the greatest ways to learn is to give, and this also removes the mindset that “it’s all about me” (which, in my opinion, is a negative epidemic). We learn best when we give and multiply.

We should be rivers, not ponds. This is also true in the mentorship relationship.

That means it will take great time and costly energy, and therefore we can only really mentor a few. Jesus had 12 close companions, His disciples, but He invested a greater amount of time and energy on only 3 disciples—the three we see on the Mount of Transfiguration. He took extra time to teach, to pray, and to answer questions. This is the truest picture of discipleship: investing in a few.

The time factor in mentorship is that you can really only invest in a few. I do not want to say how many a few really is, but I will lead you to the example of Jesus.

Let’s look for a few to invest in, giving them our best time and energy. That also means that we have to be very selective with our time because it’s a great commitment, and ensure that these are ones who are willing to be mentored in this way.

We need to really evaluate who to invest into, and who to ask to mentor us.