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As engineering leaders develop themselves and grow, they're often encouraged to mentor others. They're encouraged to share time with junior engineers and to share more of their time and opinion. As these prospects gain experience and visibility, they can often consider this kind of work as selfless, full stop. Of course, they are reserving office hours and making themselves available to their colleagues. But without a growth-oriented mindset, they could consider this kind of work a tax or burden.

Mentorship should come from a place of selfishness in order to bring about the most benefit to mentees. A selfish mentor has things to gain, leadership experience and a realization of what their coaching can achieve in others. Someone who puts time on their calendar, meets a few people, and ultimately sends them off with pats on the head and words of experience is not an effective mentor. Effective mentors are engaged; they follow up on people's growth, they personalize what advice and experience to share. Ultimately, effective mentors must be selfish.

I will talk about how my mentorship style has changed in the past 3 years. Focusing on my own growth has been a boon in growing developers in my care.