Role of a Leadership Mentor

As the LEAD Program continues to grow, we recognize the role Elon faculty and staff play in assisting students is both influential and dynamic. To reflect this relationship, we have elected to refer to our faculty and staff as leadership mentors. Mentors facilitate personal growth and development, provide guidance, feedback, and wisdom, and engage in critical dialogue that advances students towards self-reflection, self-development, and action. We believe this name change will better reflect the developmental relationship LEAD participants are creating and building with their mentor.

Leadership mentors assume a variety of roles throughout their relationship with the student with whom they work. However, at its foundation, the mentor is responsible for mentoring the student through the leadership process. This is an opportunity for students to establish and strengthen a relationship with an Elon faculty or staff member who can provide guidance and mentorship. This requires leadership mentors to:

  • Develop and nurture a mentoring relationship with the student
  • Work with the student to construct expectations for the mentor-student relationship
  • Create learning opportunities that will make a difference in the student’s success
  • Assist the student in setting smart goals
  • Challenge the student to grow and excel, while also supporting them
  • Provide insight, advice, and feedback to the student
  • Encourage the student to move through the LEAD Program and continue their involvement through the next respective tier
  • Know and understand the requirements for completing the LEAD Program
  • Meet at least once a semester with the student (monthly or more frequent meetings are highly encouraged to support students’ learning)
  • Maintain regular contact with the student, even if studying abroad or off campus for the semester
  • Utilize resources, including the Center for Leadership staff, the LEAD website, and the leadership mentor manual

More specifically through your mentoring relationship, students will be able to:

  • Explore personal foundations of leadership by understanding personal skills and styles and articulating a personalized leadership definition
  • Continue growth as a leader by seeking out and leveraging feedback, determining personal balance and well-being, developing a mentor/mentee relationship, and fostering self-development
  • Lead in the interpersonal context by communicating effectively

Resources for Leadership Mentors

The Center for Leadership staff can provide you with the support to feel successful in your mentoring responsibilities. These support initiatives include the following:

  • Leadership mentor workshops throughout the academic year. We offer the following sessions each semester:
    • Mentor Training (60 minutes) – provides an introduction to the LEAD Program, including participant requirements, mentor expectations, and strategies for building a successful relationship.
    • Mentor Roundtables (60 minutes) – continues the dialogue with a focus on specific topics, such as engaging your student in critical reflection, helping students through LEAD, etc.
  • The Center for Leadership staff coordinates an annual Cannon Celebration every spring to celebrate the leadership accomplishments of all students involved in our leadership initiatives. This is a great chance for you to recognize your student’s growth and leadership contributions to the Elon community. Cannon Celebration will take place on Tuesday May 2nd at 6:00pm in McKinnon Hall.
  • The Center for Leadership has several online resources. The LEAD website is an excellent resource. It includes frequently asked quetsions about the LEAD Program and mentoring tips and techniques.
  • The Center for Leadership is active on social media through Facebook, Twitter (@ElonLeadership), and Instagram (ElonLeadership). Through these social media sites, we provide regular tips for leaders and mentors, articles related to leadership, and reminders for campus events related to leadership development, including LEAD workshops and due dates.
  • Within the Center for Leadership, there is a Resource Library that includes books and articles related to leadership and mentoring. All library resources can be checked out by any leadership mentor. Additional materials are located in Belk Library.
  • Lastly, the Center for Leadership staff is interested in meeting individually with any leadership mentor who has questions, concerns, or would like advice. Please contact Dana Carnes at the Center for Leadership to schedule a meeting.