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:
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!