'Be anxious for nothing..." ~Philippians 4:6

Friday, December 16, 2016


Your chosen mentor is regularly embroiled in some conflict, mild or otherwise. Follow the gossip and it begins at his or her desk. Follow the complaints and fault finding and you’ll find them leading the line. Their penchant for sowing seeds of discord has caused them to be demoted. They have no authority, just a truckload of advice about what you and others ought to do, and how you should do it. They have no current achievement of which to speak; nothing that gives you the impression that the success of the organization or leadership is their aim. They exist in a bubble within the organization and have, in their minds elevated it, and what they do to a status that no one supports. They think that what they do eclipses the work of the organization; it gives the organization life; sustains it, and is the only bright spot in an otherwise dysfunctional enterprise. They need allies, and have drafted you to be a part of some imaginary coup.

 This is your mentor?

They have very little if anything good to say about leadership—the leadership whose support, endorsement, and recommendation you will surely need in order to achieve your desired goals. Your mentor desires to see leadership fail, or be replaced. He or she has no confidence in leadership and pits you against those of whom they are envious, suspicious, or with whom they have shady dealings, or unresolved issues. Your mentor expects you to report to them; convinces you that you need their input about your performance, and how to proceed. He or she is always puffing you up, though; citing how your performance excels anything the leader has done or is doing. “You’ve got it going on! You’ve got what it takes!” You, they say, should be the leader. Imagine what that would mean for them.

Do you have a mentor or a manipulator?

They eventually begin encouraging you to leave, take your skills with your bad self, and seek promotion somewhere else. They’ve even done the research for you. They’ve dropped your name in conversation with others. You know (if you’re honest) that you are good, but you are neither ready, nor qualified, but your mentor’s words do sound promising-- and stroke your ego. You see the places your mentor suggests you go. You really do have to ask yourself, “Are they serious?”
You notice you are still on the job, but are stagnant; spinning your wheels in the same position. You begin to wonder if your mentor has a point. You begin to gossip, complain, and find fault, but you justify it as concern for the integrity and survival of the organization. You look for cracks in the foundation, flaws in the character of leadership, and justifiable reasons to bow out. You find yourself at odds with the very people or persons you should trust; the very people from whom you should learn, and with whom you should collaborate. You've been counseled not to trust the, You find yourself in a clique, surrounded by grumbling, opportunistic  misfits, who too, take their cues from your mentor. You forget the sobering warning of every grandmother: "A dog that will bring a bone will carry one".

You’re frustrated that your promotion is delayed. You were once on a fast track.  It almost happened, but now you’re sidelined. Perhaps you should consider that who you align yourself with may be the reason you’re going nowhere, and grace is the reason you’re even still in place.
It matters who you follow. Look deeply. Dust off your discernment. Maybe your mentor’s problems aren’t only with the leader. Maybe they have issues with you, too. Perhaps they blew their opportunities. Don’t blow yours. Some say they want you to excel. What they really want is for you to remain on the ground—with them. Misery is everywhere and it really does love company.

Realign yourself.

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