The New York Times article How to Become a C.E.O.? The Quickest Path Is a Winding One by Neil Irwin is an interesting study on the best way to prepare to become a CEO, but it leaves the most important lesson for last:
In other words, the path to the executive suite may be long and winding, and include stops in many different types of specialties. But the key to navigating it is being able to learn from others all along the way.
A little reflection on the value of mentoring reveals that it’s all about teaching (the mentor) and learning (the mentee).
In fact mentoring does get a mention in the article.
Kai Monahan embodies a third pathway through different specialties into top executive jobs.
It helped that he had an early mentor who encouraged him to take risks in his career by taking on jobs he was unfamiliar with — and bosses willing to take a chance on assigning him jobs he wasn’t qualified for on paper.
So in fact mentoring actually can go beyond teaching to helping your mentee decide on a career or business direction and providing encouragement to take risks to get there.