008 How to be an intentional apprentice

Do you have what it takes to be a great apprentice? Our last episode explored Why you should be a lifelong apprentice. In this episode, Leary and Armin discuss what it takes to be a really great apprentice and how you can gain new mentors in your life.

How to be an intentional apprentice


This episode’s Inspire Me quote is from the legendary CNN interviewer, Larry King:

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”

What a great reminder and a key attitude of an intentional apprentice. If we want to be an intentional apprentice, we must be lifelong learners. Leary and Armin discussed the three questions we must ask ourselves to know if we have what it takes to be an intentional apprentice:

  • Am I willing to change? I’m not just looking for someone to affirm me, but to help me get better.
  • Am I willing to work at it? Great mentors won’t come to you. You have to work at it, persistently. That’s what it means to be intentional.
  • Am I willing to work with what I have? You are already surrounded by people who could help. Are you practicing being an intentional apprentice with what God has already given you?

Four strategies of intentional apprenticeship can help you cultivate your network of mentors:

  • Start small & focused. Be clear about your objective. The more focused you can be on what you want to accomplish, the more likely you’ll find a great mentor.
  • Pursue the best mentors possible. Don’t just assume you can’t get access to someone. You may surprise yourself who can meet when you tap into your personal network. The people you know often love to show off who they know. Take advantage of that to work toward meeting the best mentors you can.
  • Be a learner. Take that attitude of a learner to your meeting by being prepared with specific questions and be respectful of their time.
  • Own the pursuit. Like a good salesperson, you have to own the pursuit. As the apprentice, it’s your job to set the appointments and topics you’d like to explore. If you’re expecting a mentor to take the lead, you’re looking for the wrong mentor. 

Leary and Armin suggested two Challenge Me takeaways:

  1. Think of someone who has helped you and write them a quick note of thanks, specifically mentioning how they benefited you.
  2. Review the list you made from the last episode (why you want a mentor, areas you want help with, and prospective mentors) and take one step to pursue one of them.

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