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Power Mentoring: How Successful Mentors and Proteges Get the Most Out of Their Relationships


Tap into the Winning Strategies of Power Mentoring

"A wonderfully useful and readable book about the underacknowledged significance of mentoring."
?Warren Bennis, author, On Becoming a Leader, and coauthor, Geeks and Geezers

"There are few career relationships as pivotal as the one with a mentor. This wonderful book takes readers deep into the chemistry of the best of these. Full of compelling stories to illustrate its lessons, it is a treasure...

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Tap into the Winning Strategies of Power Mentoring

"A wonderfully useful and readable book about the underacknowledged significance of mentoring."
—Warren Bennis, author, On Becoming a Leader, and coauthor, Geeks and Geezers

"There are few career relationships as pivotal as the one with a mentor. This wonderful book takes readers deep into the chemistry of the best of these. Full of compelling stories to illustrate its lessons, it is a treasure trove of insights."
—Jay A. Conger, Kravis Professor of Leadership, Claremont McKenna College, and author, Building Leaders

"All successful people have someone in their life who helps them at various stages in their development. In Power Mentoring, one finds close-up examples of how mentoring has played an important part leading to individual success. This is one of the most important books on the subject of mentoring to be written in years."
—Henry R. Kravis, founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

"Power Mentoring adeptly bridges the academic-practitioner divide by providing practical advice that is firmly grounded in academic research and the authors' own interviews with an amazing array of power mentors and their protégés. The result is a compelling, accessible, and engaging account of how to create, nourish, and flourish effective mentoring relationships. The book brings mentoring to life, and the reader quickly becomes captivated by the stories, accounts, and narratives of Power Mentoring. From Oprah to Spielberg to Welch—who can resist reading this book?"
—Belle Rose Ragins, professor of management, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and coauthor, Mentoring and Diversity: An International Perspective

"Mentoring is so important for any leader, small business owner, or entrepreneur—this book is a must-read!"
—Charles Segars, head, Fine Living Cable Network, and executive producer of the movie National Treasure

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...provides a useful snapshot of the issues, dramas and special challenges women and minorities face in the modern workplace..." (getAbstract, August 2006)
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
How Successful Mentors and Proteges Get the Most Out of Their Relationships
In an effort to help professionals and managers make the most of their careers, management professor Ellen A. Ensher and psychology professor Susan Elaine Murphy have interviewed 50 of America’s most successful mentors and protégés to discover the secrets of great mentoring relationships. By showing readers how to obtain a mentor or protégé, or improve the mentoring relationships they already have, the authors provide practical advice to all types of professionals at all stages in their careers that can help them learn more and grow their careers faster than they could alone.

Some of the mentoring relationships described in Power Mentoring are the traditional connections that happen between an older, more experienced mentor and a younger protégé who gains vast insight from the guidance provided. However, the authors write, most of the people they interviewed did not rely on a single mentor for support, “but instead had a broad network consisting of a variety of mentors to support them.” The authors call this network approach to mentoring “power mentoring,” and they explain that those involved, both as mentors and protégés, received results that were mutually beneficial to their personal career growth and development.

Fifty Professionals
The 50 mentors and protégés whose interviews provide the lessons that comprise Power Mentoring have careers spanning a variety of industries and professions. They include corporate presidents, military commanders, film and TV directors, congressmen and politicians, and many other types of professionals.

Although the authors recognize the value of traditional mentoring, they explain that recent research reveals that mentoring relationships today are different. Power mentoring reflects the new work environment as well as today’s unique career challenges.

Although many people and organizations claim that mentoring is the answer to a variety of societal and organizational problems, the authors point out that researchers continue to find that formal mentoring programs are less effective than spontaneously developed relationships. They write that, instead of spending large amounts of money on formal programs, organizations would be better off expending those resources “on creating an infrastructure that enables mentoring relationships to grow and thrive organically.” To show how formal mentoring programs can be improved and brought up to the level of informal relationships, the authors present ideas about how to make these programs look and feel like informal relationships.

A Diverse Network
The authors’ approach to mentoring includes the idea that having a diverse network of mentors is the best solution for problems in today’s careers. They recommend that “if you are a protégé, you can take an active approach to getting a mentor rather than waiting to be chosen.” To do this, protégés must be creative when seeking out those they want to have as mentors.

Power Mentoring describes how the many people the authors interviewed have benefited professionally from networks of mentors and protégés. It also shows how people on both sides of the equation can develop relationships that enhance their own personal happiness.

The authors write that there are four differences between their power mentoring approach and traditional mentoring. Power mentoring differs in who initiates the relationship (it is often initiated by the protégé), in the extensive role of tests and challenges, in the prevalence of true reciprocity (both mentor and protégé benefit), and in its generative focus (giving back to the next generation occurs throughout the power mentor’s career).

Why We Like This Book
Power Mentoring shows readers how to develop their own personal plan for developing rewarding relationships while also providing many insightful stories that highlight the advice and lessons it imparts. Personal experiences and examples from many notable personalities and leaders describe how much can be gained when a network of mentoring relationships is pursued. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787979522
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/26/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 978,051
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen A. Ensher is an associate professor of management at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Susan Elaine Murphy is an associate professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College and the associate dean of the Henry R. Kravis Leadership Institute in Claremont, California.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction to Power Mentoring.

Who Are Our Power Mentors and Protégés?

The Changing Career Landscape.

Overview of the Book.

2 The Many Faces of Power Mentoring.

Classic Versus Contemporary Approaches to Mentoring.

The Many Types of Power Mentoring.


3 Mentoring as a Two-Way Street: Benefits of Giving and Receiving.

Give-and-Take in Power Mentoring Relationships.

Road Map to This Chapter.

Meet the Power Mentors and Protégés: Stories of Give-and-Take.

Summary of Benefits for Protégés and Mentors.


4 The Mind of the Mentor.

Mental Models: The Philosophies of Mentoring.

The Mentor’s Attraction to the Protégé.

The Perfect Protégé.

Tests and Challenges.


5 The Protégé’s Perspective: How to Get and Keep a Power Mentor.

Initiation and Attraction.

Developing Trust in the Mentoring Relationship.

Identifying a Power Mentor.

Cultivating the Art of Impression Management.

Developing a Goal-Oriented Attitude.

Forming Connection Strategies.


6 Unlocking the Secrets of Great Power Mentoring Relationships.

Building Blocks of Effective Relationships.

Defining Moments.

Deepening the Mentoring Relationship.


7 Power Mentoring and You.

The Relationship Development Plan.


8 Conclusion: What We Have Learned About Mentoring in Today’s Work Environment.

Turning Everyday Mentoring into Power Mentoring.

What We Know About Effective Mentoring Relationships.

What We Are Still Learning About Mentoring Relationships.

The Lessons of Power Mentoring for Formal Mentoring Programs.

Getting a Formal Mentoring Program Off the Ground.


Appendix A: The Interviewees.

Appendix B: Studying Power Mentoring Relationships.



The Authors.


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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006

    Welcome to Modern Mentoring

    To demonstrate how 'power mentoring' works in practice, authors Ellen Ensher and Susan Murphy provide down-to-earth interviews with about 50 pairs of high-powered mentors and their protégés. The conversations offer useful nuggets of insight about office politics, job advancement and successful networking. In addition, unlike many books on the topic, this one provides a useful snapshot of the issues, dramas and special challenges women and minorities in the modern workplace face - and the picture is not always pretty. The book¿s biggest flaws are its redundancy and use of boardroom clichés. Still, we recommend this personalized, practical book to potential mentor-protégé teams.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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