So assuming you've found a mentor and are now ready to make the most of the precious hours you'll have together, here's a few thoughts around how to organize the time in general.
- Establish that you drive the agenda. It's your career, your questions and your party :-)
- Have an open discussion in the first meeting to ask each other: what do you each want to accomplish per session? How often to meet? What contact between meetings?
- Set time at the beginning of each meeting to establish your goals for the mentoring period
- Set more time in the first meeting to discuss
- Set shorter time in subquent meeting to review - what are the milestones each month? how are things progressing?
- Review your long-term career goals - either that you've drafted them or that you're hoping your mentor will help you figure them out
- Bring a personal value statement /philosophy on leadership (what topics will you need to explore together to finalize that statement?)
- Explore two "pins in the map" of where you see yourself in 10 years ... one if you continue on your current path and one if you took a big leap of faith
- Create an action plan of how you might get to either pin
- Work together to think about what kinds of introductions you require to fill out your network to support your plans
- Explore the types of roles and challenges you should consider that will build /strengthen your skills - keeping the focus on what you love to do
Whether your mentor is experienced or new to mentoring, remember: this is about you. It's a journey you'll go on together. New or experienced, good mentors all will go with your flow so you'll get out what you're willing to put in :-)