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Managers as Mentors, 3rd Edition by Marshall Goldsmith, Chip R. Bell

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Be Vigilant for Obstacles to Learning

The late Geary Rummler was fond of saying, “You can take highly motivated, well-trained employees, put them in a lousy system, and the system will win every time.” Effective learning results can become ineffective performance results if the protégé enters a system, process, or unit that punishes—or simply does not encourage—the newly acquired skills. A crucial part of your role is to be ever vigilant for obstacles that undermine the learning acquired through your mentoring.

Think of your protégé’s learning as a newly planted tree. In time the tree will have deep roots and a hardy resistance to wind, disease, and extreme temperatures. But as a sapling, it is particularly vulnerable. It must be supported, protected, ...

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