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Creating Your Vision for a Mentoring Relationship

3 minute read

Having a mentoring relationship means that you’ll also need to have a certain vision or a place to start and where you want this relationship to go moving forward. Having that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be the outcome but as long as you’re moving in the right direction, your relationship is bound to succeed. Think of your vision as a compass that will always guide you north.

A Talk with Lorna

We sat down with Lorna Davis, a global ambassador of the B Corp movement, a person who has given a Ted Talk around connected leadership, a CEO, Board of Director, and a friend for a talk about vision in a mentoring relationship. She gave us her perspective and insights about Bob Ross’ vision and how we can relate his symbols to a mentoring relationship as well as gave us a few pieces of advice she received from the mentors in her life.

Source of Vision

Lorna explained that not all people have their vision from the get go and it kind of comes as a derivative from someone’s vision and uses it as an inspiration to create their own. This is especially true since we can’t force people to have their vision or direction from the start and if we do force it, that vision might be something that they don’t really want and just comes as a hurried decision. We need to let people find their vision at their own pace. This brings up a perfect quote from Lorna:

“When I don’t know what I’m doing is when I’m most in flow”

As someone who considers herself as a wanderer, she often finds inspiration and motivation as she moves along. Other people do the same but it really depends on that individual themselves. If you have a clear vision of what you want, you’re set. If you have a tiny bit of idea of the vision you wanted, then start from there and move along to piece together the vision you wanted.

The Three Mentor Groups

Mentoring Groups

We’ll meet a lot of people in our life which we can call our mentors. There may be times where a mentor relationship has formed even without us knowing! Lorna grouped the mentors she met in her life into three categories. They are as follows:

  • The mentors who knew you professionally

Your Boss, your colleague, or your best friend, these are people who were beside you and know your professional story. They are most effective because they know how to effectively mentor you based on their experience and knowledge about you professionally. They can also be approached easily since it is not hard to be vulnerable and comfortable around them. They could give you critical feedback that can only be given by someone who knows you and what you do well.

  • The mentors who are not connected to your profession

Sometimes the best people who can mentor you are the people that are completely unfamiliar with your professional field. For Lorna, one of her best mentors was an acupuncturist. She was able to open up during their sessions and they saw her in a completely different way. This allows these kinds of mentors to provide unbiased opinions or opinions that are completely out of the normal advice you’ll get from people from your professional field.

  • A fixed mentoring relationship

These are the mentors that are somewhat formalized into you. People would say that “Hey, this will be your mentor, You need to like him and meet with him monthly”. Lorna described this relationship as if someone stole your dating app account and matched you with someone on your behalf. She also described this kind of mentoring as the worst because mentoring is not something that should be forced into someone. Although there are times that this kind of mentoring worked but oftentimes, it’ll fail.

Prematurely Practical vs Positively Impractical

Lorna’s Mentor once said to her:

“We create a masterpiece of a life out of a postage stamp”

This quote strongly defines what a prematurely practical person is. They want to build a masterpiece so fast that they didn’t consider the foundation where they are trying to create one. Also, a lot of great things happen unexpectedly in our life in which we experience serendipity and it is not a marathon in which there’s a finish line. As Lorna said, let’s focus on the miracles and try to set a vision that is higher than your wildest dreams.

On the other hand, a positively impractical person has a clear vision of what they want and accepts no other outcomes other than the one they envisioned. A primary example stated by Lorna is a quote from one of Steve Jobs’ speech where she remembered him saying:

“No one could ever mess with my vision”

We can argue that there’s some truth to this but a lot of unexpected things can happen that may sway you from your vision but what’s important is for that vision to serve as a direction for you to move forward. The end result might not be exactly the same as you want but we should be open to changes that can happen along the way.


Even though not all people have that clear vision of what they want, having a tiny bit of idea is more than enough to get you started and you can pick up bits and pieces of that vision along the way. Having your goal or not, we still need to be open to changes that can happen in our lives and our mentoring relationships. We shouldn’t be prematurely practical and positively impractical and there’s a fine line between the two where we should be. Let’s all work on having a great vision for our mentoring relationships, connect with us now! 

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