Leadership series lesson 2 - how to identify fake business mentors sufi point of view

Leadership Series – Lesson 2: Who is a business mentor and who isn’t? How to identify a fake mentor – Sufism perspective

Now then, am I being curt here using the term ‘Fake Business Mentor’? Definitely not. In today’s social media world that is heedlessly full of din and noise, who doesn’t want to call himself a mentor or an influencer on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, or Clubhouse? Everybody wants to hog the limelight and influence others in one way or the other. Therefore, the craziness and creepiness of self-proclaimed mentors continue to pollute today’s startup business space, with most of their mentees and clients losing money and self-esteem big time. 

Who is a mentor from a Sufism perspective?

One of the greatest Sufi masters, Shams of Tabriz, the spiritual mentor and companion of Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi of Turkey infamously quoted, 

“There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven, self-centered people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself, and will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the Light of God pass through them”.

What is the role of the mentor?

This begs the question, are today’s business mentors driven primarily by power and money? Or are we confusing between two completely different functional business areas namely consulting and mentoring? A point to remember; however, is that business mentors share their expertise and experience by offering business advice, network, contacts, counsel and political and cultural insights, in addition to ongoing support and motivation.

Therefore, by definition, it is clear that the role of a mentor is to leverage his or her acquired business skills and help accelerate the career development or business growth of the mentee. 


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