5 Keys to Effective Mentorship

Mentorship is a vital part of any organization, as well as any developing leader. God’s word makes it clear that mentorship is an effective model of leadership development and succession planning: Moses mentored Joshua, (Nu. 27:16-18) Eli mentored Samuel, (I Sa. 1-3), and Paul mentored Timothy evidenced in first and second Timothy. Over the span of time from the lives of Moses and Joshua to the lives of Paul and Timothy the world changed, the circumstances of leadership evolved and developed, and the challenges faced increased and became more complex; however, the succession of mentorship and the willingness of great leaders to make mentoring a priority overcame the challenges.

As transformational leadership is beginning to gain validity in organizations as a desired leadership model, it begs leaders to embrace mentoring as an outpouring of the transformational mindset, while pseudotransformational leaders remain concerned with maintaining dependence of their followers on them. (Sankowsky, 1995) A true transformational leader treats each leader as an individual and provides growth opportunities through mentoring relationships. (Bass, 1985) It is this mentality that takes the common insecurity and fear of mentorship away, and allows a transformational leader to truly lead transformationally. (de Vries, 1988, p. 25) The Apostle Paul was a great example of such a leadership model.

Hoehl states that successful mentor relationships benefit all involved including the mentor. (Hoehl, 2011, p. 34) In an evaluation of the mentorship of Timothy by Paul, she proposes five key elements to effective mentoring that effectively challenges new leaders regardless of circumstances or place in time. The key elements she proposes are:

  • to find the right person for the job
  • equip for the task
  • empower for success
  • employ for effectiveness
  • treasure the relationship (Hoehl, 2011)

Effective implementation can lead to effective mentoring relationships.


Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. New York : London: Free Press.

Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: study Bible: English standard version (ESV text ed). Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles.

De Vries, M. F. R. K. (1988). The Dark Side of Ceo Succession. Management Review, 77(8), 23.

Hoehl, S. (2011). The Mentor Relationship- An Exploration of Paul as a Loving Mentor to Timothy and the Application of this Relationship to Contemporary Leadership Challenges. Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership, Vol. 3(Iss. 2), 32–47.

Sankowsky, D. (1995). The charismatic leader as narcissist: Understanding the abuse of power. Organizational Dynamics, 23(4), 57–71.

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