ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

July 1998


Creating A Workplace Community

Finding Your Way Through Performance Measurement

A Quality Vacation On The Jersey Shore

The Honda Dirtbusters Cleaned Up In Nashville

Consolidation Processes Save Time, Money And Win Awards


As Goes The Follower, So Goes The Leader
by Peter Block

Off -Target Marketing - Can We Talk
by Bill Brewer


Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Book Review


Book Reviews With A Twist

“Managers as Mentors”
by Chip R. Bell, Ph.D.

Finally, a book you can judge by its cover.

The cover artwork for “Managers as Mentors,” sums up the book’s content in four simple images. The graphics depict four phases of a pine tree’s growth, from a seedling to a towering tree. These concepts of growth and development are the focus of “Mangers as Mentors,” a book that provides the framework for successful mentoring from the perspective of the mentor and the prot�g�.

“Managers as Mentors” is an invaluable tool for any professional involved in training, management or a supervisory role. Team members will also find the book’s tips on peer mentoring and self-directed learning helpful for maximizing their professional development and learning.

Pick a Chapter, Any Chapter.
Bell has written “Managers as Mentors” in an unusual format. Once the first phase of the book is completed (an overview of mentoring) the reader is able to jump from section to section, as opposed to reading from cover to cover. “Managers as Mentors” also contains a helpful self-assessment tool – a questionnaire designed to evaluate the reader in the areas of sociability, dominance and openness. This self-assessment, along with places in the text that call for personal reflection, actively engages the reader in the learning process. Bell provides a real-life depiction of mentoring early in the book, which he requotes in later chapters to clarify his concepts and ideas.

From Beginning to End
“Managers as Mentors” transcends the entire process of mentoring, or partnering, from its early stages (establishing rapport, giving advice and feedback, etc.) to its later stages (continuous learning and bringing closure to the mentoring relationship). Along the way Bell describes mentoring as a delicate interpersonal learning exchange that blends humility, respect and listening into an agent for personal and professional development.

In a nutshell: “Not all mentors are supervisors, but all effective supervisors should be mentors…Mentoring is the part of a leader’s role that has growth as its outcome.” These two quotes depict the underlying theme of the book – mentoring for growth and development.

The year 2000 problem: “Managers as Mentors” includes chapters that concentrate on today’s business trends as well as future concerns. The increasing pace of business, mentoring around equipment, long-distance mentoring and self-directed mentoring are just a few of the future business concerns Bell addresses.

Why it’s different from the traditional business book: Bell’s use of a self-assessment tool and real-life examples require the reader to actively participate in the learning process. Bell also adds some light-heartedness to the book by referencing unusual people and characters, such as songs by Bob Dylan, Dr. Seuss poems and anecdotes from Socrates.

An idea to live by: Demonstrate “Humility Squared.” Bell explains this as, “The mentor who steps up to the plate and dramatically demonstrates humility and authenticity is the mentor who nurtures trust…Humility does not require you to fall on your sword…It means remaining alert to show empathy rather than sympathy. It means working to strip any nuances of rank, power or status from the relationship. Mentoring is about equality, not sovereignty.”

“Mangers as Mentors” by Chip R. Bell, 1998 Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., San -Francisco, Calif., ISBN 1-57675-034-5, 208 pages, US $16.95.
Reviewed by Greg Banig, News for a Change staff.

July '98 News for a Change | Email Editor
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