Shenkman's thinking and mentoring strategies provided a powerful framework for designing a master of architecture program committed to the creation of leaders withing the profession."

 From Curt Lamb, AIS, PhD, Executive Director, Education Initiatives, Boston Architectural College

I view leader mentoring as an exceptional and most ancient relationship that has been offered through the eons, to people who step out of the norms of everyday life in order to offer the possibility of transforming new possibilities into the products, services and institutions that mark our everyday life. Leader mentoring views leading as a creative enterprise, and as such views each leader as one whose talents and energies need to be channeled and shaped to the rigorous demands of leading. Mentoring happens because someone has the aspiration to create followers in this great adventure, so that collaboration can improve lives.  Mentoring is necessary because the pitfalls in leading are many, the rewards few, and the demands unending. The leader cares about the followers, and the mentor cares about the leader. In this great chain of care and attention, great things can happen.

Mentoring differs from instruction, teaching, and coaching in that it emphasizes the qualities and values of life that are needed to sustain oneself in the creative endeavor, not the talents and skills used for the purpose of executing a project. Mentoring is a manner of both exemplifying a way of life and testing the initiate as he embarks on this new way. As a result of the mentoring process, a "master" determines whether or not the initiate has a chance of succeeding in this life of leading.

"Leader Mentoring" focuses on the creative aspects of leading. We envision leading as being on a continuum of creative endeavors, rather than being a salient point of a managerial process. Leading often involves a lot of drudgery, and so we fully acknowledge how leading within a contemporary organizational setting is embedded (or fully submerged) within the culture of managerial expertise, and its exacting demands for productive excellence.

But leading came before managing. Leading also came before art, and before words were ever spoken. Leading pulses in the heart and drives the rhythm of conscious, organized life (as observations of other mammalian species attest). In its human form, at it core, leading is a creative force. To the extent that humans are able to consolidate visions into realities, leaders make that possible. To the extent that humans bring into existence more expansive and encompassing, and more satisfying and sustaining, ways for people to engage with each other and their natural environments, leaders are doing their work.

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