If you are a young entrepreneur or you aspire to be one, then of course, there is a part of you that would like to lead people towards a certain goal and mentor them on the way.
Do you know what a great leader is?
Here are 9 advises on who great leaders and mentors are and what they do differently according to Casper Ravn-Sørensen:
- Persons that know the direction
True leaders are persons that almost never are lost. Even if they find themselves trapped in a certain crossroad and they do not know where they should go, their mission is to find the right direction. Knowing the way of the path and having a clear picture towards yourself is something great leaders have learned or are born with. And how do you think they do that? Simply with a little help from practical knowledge. Great leaders and mentors are not theorists. They usually do not write books (although there is a number of them that actually do), but they are happier to share their experience and practical knowledge live.
- Great mentors give support
Although great mentors are the people that shouldn’t make things easy for you – they give you support. After all, you cannot do anything on your own. And sometimes it is just support that you lack in achieving your true potential. With mentor’s guidance and training, and a little bit of backing, you will get to know the vision in front of you, and a new perspective that you maybe failed to see.
- They challenge you – and themselves
For Casper Ravn-Sørensen for example, everything is in challenging a young spirit. He likes to show to young entrepreneurs that everything is achievable and possible if you put your mind and heart into it. He would pose a bunch of challenging questions and risky situations that need to be handled right away and in that way, he is teaching you to take advantages of various opportunities. In fact, challenging is also a way of learning from mistakes and understanding your strengths and weaknesses better. In that way, both mentor (Casper Ravn-Sørensen) and a mentee (you) could be growing together as leaders, managers and human beings overall.
- Demonstrate and ask for the desire
If you show to a great leader that you are passionate about something. If you show the desire for cooperation, the desire for winning, the desire for being on top, then you are getting his attention for certain. They do not just demonstrate passion and capability; they are searching for it in their surroundings. They want people to show them new things and perspectives. Great leaders have a wish to guide people, but in the same time, they want to be guided by new, fresh ideas from young people.
Owning a company gives you the opportunity to work for yourself, in a field you enjoy. Working in an industry you are passionate about and with people who give you the confidence and optimism to keep moving forward. You have the power to create the company culture and control how active your company is growing. Owning your own business allows you to contribute, which also gives you some sort of personal satisfaction. Having your own business is risky, but with risk comes reward.
- They are aware that being a loner is not working for anyone
And especially not for leaders and entrepreneurs-to-be. You have to show that you are capable of working in a team, that you are capable of engaging in societal questions. That you are able to small talk, but also discuss about crucial things in a professional and personal way. Great leaders have a genuine desire to share their knowledge and experience, but they want to see that in you too. As a result of all that, they do not get just a personal satisfaction in guidance, but they are also gaining new perspectives if you are a mentee worth having. It is not just your journey; it is a leader’s journey as well that you as a mentee have impact on.
- Great mentors are role models
If you see a mentor and you think “Wow, I aspire to be just like him”, then you have met your mentor-to-be. They serve as role models not just in their way of doing business, but also in their behavior overall. Casper Ravn-Sørensen have grown up under heavy circumstances, but that didn’t stop him from achieving his goals and dreams. If you feel that you have had a difficult surroundings and circumstances while growing up, maybe a small meeting with Casper could help you in realizing that anything is possible. Anything you think of. It is just a matter of persistence. And considering Casper didn’t have a mentor to start with, his greatest wish is to be able to help someone that is in the same situation as he was when he first started his own business. It is all about building a mutually trusting relationship.
- Discussing everything
Sometimes it feels as if great mentors and leaders have such high standards. But it’s all because they know how much they gave up on their path to success. And they want their mentees to be aware of that as well. It is not about being cocky, it is about confidence, both theirs and yours.
One of the worst things in mentorship – probably, when you see a big potential in people but because of certain reason they are not achieving their best. They just accept what they have and don’t strive for more. As a mentor, I can get frustrated when I invest in people and don’t get the expected outcome. It is simply not enough to have a good idea. You should be willing to spend long hours and work hard on order to achieve your goals. But sometimes young people are not committed enough. I experienced many people with great ideas but with no results, for different reasons. My philosophy about startups is: “If the project can grow profitable, get it out and work it on” – even if you make mistakes. Those mistakes will teach you a valuable lesson.
In that way, by providing the needed confidence, a mentee trusts not only the mentor, but also himself. Trusting your own abilities brings the necessary tool to independence, even from the mentor.
- Great leaders and mentors take responsibility
They are simply not afraid to take things into their own hands. Great mentors and leaders don’t hold back when business gets serious. They don’t get awry when something goes wrong. Great leaders are there to make a difficult decision and not give up when most of the people would. That is why mentoring is more than advising, more than coaching, more than giving directions. Real mentoring means that a person succeeds in taking the matters in their own hands even though it is a mentees professional career. Even though it’s someone’s life.
- They serve to the people
One would think that a leader never depends on anyone else. But great leaders are also aware that they wouldn’t be anywhere if there weren’t other people. Casper Ravn-Sørensen, as a mentor and an angel investor, likes to solve other people’s problems. That is why his newest projects involve Alpha47.com, as a platform for giving the best marketing solutions and Minifinans.dk as a platform for loaning the money. In the same way as serving the customers, he wants to serve to mentees that are ready to learn something new and develop themselves businesswise.
The best part of being an investor is that you get to mentor great minds. There are so many talented entrepreneurs that have a huge potential. It’s great to talk to so many people that are passionate about their ideas or projects. These people usually know how to scale things with the right network, knowledge and capital. I am very involved when I feel that the entrepreneur really feels his project, has a strong concept and a committed team – this is when my full attention is captured.