What makes a good mentor protégé relationship


Prajakt Raut, a seasoned entrepreneur, has an excellent article on Inc.com on the relationship between mentors and mentees, whom he calls “protégés”

Here’s the definition of protégé:


a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person: he was an aide and protégé of the former Tennessee senator.

As you can see it’s not very different from mentee:

mentee |menˈtē|


a person who is advised, trained, or counseled by a mentor.

Prajakt Raut has a lot to say and I recommend you read the entire article, whether you are a founder or a mentor. But here’s a few highlights:

A good mentor-protégé relationship can be game-changing for a startup, and therefore it is important that both – the mentor and the protege – understand how they can make the engagement meaningful, productive, rewarding and fulfilling.

Apart from strategy and help in decision making, a mentor could also help in the following areas:

  • Helping create a business case and business plan
  • Helping with warm introductions
  • Providing support during tough times
  • Helping take tough calls
  • Interviewing senior employees

And he has an excellent list of common mistakes protégés can avoid including:

  • Most importantly: Do not get a mentor just to hear more validation of your ideas and assumptions. Get a mentor only if you are willing to be challenged on your ideas and plans. (I notice some entrepreneurs just seek reaffirmation of their beliefs, and if that is not the case, they can be quite dismissive of the mentor).

If you can’t spare the time to read this entire article watch his video, which is a good summary in less than 60 seconds!

Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: