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



Many of the world's most notable people, including Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, have credited mentoring as a major factor in their success. Despite the obvious benefits of mentoring, the traditional models have failed to keep up with trends in today's business world. Mentoring programs based on career longevity with one organization no longer reflect what's really happening.

Written to reflect the realities of today's business ...

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Many of the world's most notable people, including Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, have credited mentoring as a major factor in their success. Despite the obvious benefits of mentoring, the traditional models have failed to keep up with trends in today's business world. Mentoring programs based on career longevity with one organization no longer reflect what's really happening.

Written to reflect the realities of today's business environment, Power Mentoring is a nuts-and-bolts guide for anyone who wants to create a connection with a protégé or mentor, or to improve a current mentoring relationship. Filled with illustrative examples and candid insights from fifty of America's most successful mentors and protégés, Power Mentoring unlocks the secrets of great mentoring relationships and shows how anyone (including those who are well established in their careers, or those who are just starting out) can become a successful mentor or protégé. Based on compelling interviews from Ellen Ensher and Susan Murphy's own research, this important resource explains what it takes to develop a "power mentoring" network consisting of a variety of mentors across a range of organizations and industries. The authors provide strategies for establishing such power mentoring relationships, outline the best practices, and offer insights from mentors and protégés in a variety of fields, including technology, politics, and the media. Included is advice from notables such as

  • Bob Wright, vice chairman and executive officer of General Electric and chairman and chief executive officer of NBC Universal
  • General Lee Butler, former commander of U.S. nuclear forces
  • Rosario Marin, 41st treasurer of the United States
  • Leeza Gibbons, executive producer and Emmy Award–winning television personality
  • Larry Carter, senior vice president, office of the president, and former chief financial officer, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Power Mentoring includes practical suggestions and advice for applying the lessons learned from successful mentoring relationships and shows how to create an individualized Relationship Development Plan.

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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: 587,422
  • 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.

The authors will donate 50% of their profits from this book to three mentoring organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Covenant House, and Special Games.

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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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