Is the Success of a Mentoring Relationship Really Up to the Mentor?

Mar 1, 2017 | Uncategorized

Success in a mentoring relationship may seem like it would, by default, be up to the mentor. The mentor is, after all, the leader in the relationship. Shouldn’t it be their responsibility to ensure that the mentee is successful? Shouldn’t it rest on the mentor’s shoulders if the mentorship doesn’t prove fruitful? No, the answer to all of these hypotheticals is no. Just as in any other relationship, friendship, or partnership, the onus is equally on the mentee as it is on the mentor for the mentoring relationship to be successful. So, where does the responsibility actually lie?

It’s Up to the Mentor to Lead the Mentee Responsibly

Though the majority of the success of the mentoring relationship isn’t in the mentor’s lap, what is up to them is how they lead their mentee. Effective mentoring relationships start with strong direction and a vision in mind for the way that the relationship will go.

The best mentoring relationships have a stolid leader at the helm: a good man in a storm, someone on whom the mentee can depend for guidance and wisdom. With a consistent leader in charge, there are few places the relationship can head but toward greater success.

It’s Up to the Mentee to Meet the Mentor Halfway

All of that being said, a good captain in a storm still needs a trusty crew to help him man the ship. Without the mentee’s contributions, the mentoring relationship can be nothing but a metaphorical vessel lost at sea, battered by the incessant waves.

It’s up to the mentee to meet the mentor halfway. When the mentee accepts as much responsibility for the success of the mentoring relationship, that’s when they’re able to set a course for calmer seas and meaningful destinations.

It’s Up to Both Parties to Fulfill Promises and Goals

While it’s the responsibility of the mentor to lead the mentee, and it’s the duty of the mentee to meet the mentor halfway, it’s really up to both parties to fulfill their respective promises and goals.

If they expect to have a successful, lasting mentoring relationship, then they have to be willing and able to follow through with the goals that they set for themselves. Mentors have to commit to fulfilling the promises they make, and mentees likewise have to commit to following through with the goals they’ve come up with.

In the end, every relationship relies on both parties making a concerted effort and working equally hard to attain shared success.


  1. Holley

    It seems so basic and yet without a commitment and personal responsibility, the relationship can never be successful. Thank you for reminding me.

  2. Shaun

    Mentorship was hard for me at first, being someone that has always made his own way, but since I opened up to my mentors and actually communicated with them about my struggles in life and business, I have been able to live the best years of my life and see true success. True mentorship is so key and such a blessing.


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