Make the most of mentoring by Susan L Colantuono : A Book Review

By Jolly Mokorosi

‘If more of us had been informally mentored and able to see what was going on from the inside, three things would be different. There’d be a lot more useful information about capitalizing on mentoring relationships, we wouldn’t need to differentiate mentors from sponsors and more women would be in more senior positions today.’ Susan L Colantuono

I was once told that when directing others to a place, men give directions using street names and women use landmarks. Being aware of this prompted me to deliberately use both street names and landmarks. Through awareness a platform is created that enables us to substitute our old behavior for new, more appropriate response patterns. Whilst reading this business and career mentoring book I was reminded of this.

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The book itself is a short 89 page read but insightful. After introductions were dispensed with the highlighter and notebook worked overtime. Initially the introduction did worry me a bit. I thought I was in for another product punt disguised as a book (those really grate my carrots). This book is divided into 3 distinct parts. It makes a very solid case for reviewing the way we mentor and what protégées (mentees) need to expect and look for. It looks at how women generally mentor versus men and proceeds to make a case for the combination of the 2 styles for optimal results.  If you are looking for a book to catapult your mentoring relationships to the next level and beyond, then this is the book.


Some very insightful quotes are sprinkled all over this gem. Here are some to wet your appetite:

“Some people just wait for someone to take them under their winders, but they should just find someone’s wings to grab onto. Gaining a mentor is up to you.” Andrea Jung, CEO Avon

‘Leadership is using the greatness in you to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others.’

The Good

The book is short, punchy and useful. There are books on leadership and mentoring that add up to a ball of cotton wool. This is not one of those. You can feel the author’s urgency to shakeup the way women do mentorship and mentoring. I wholeheartedly agree with the author when she says both mentors and mentees need to read this book before embarking on a relationship. It would save some time and heartache on both sides.

The Bad

The introduction felt like a product push/infomercial and that was a bit discouraging. It also felt too short but this is also a good thing. Sometimes authors drag out books to meet word counts and this really detracts from the book.

The Ugly

The book can appear to be a little ‘aggressive’ in some parts. But other than this and the fact that it would have been great to read a book like this from a christian perspective, it really lends itself to being a very useful tool. Don’t expect to agree with 100% of everything in the book.

Susan L Colantuono herself has just as interesting a career as her book. She outlines this in the book. It is really great to read a book from someone who has seen things from so many angles and seriously assessed why things have not worked as expected. Read this book with pen and paper in hand ready to change how you do things.


Leading Women

Susan L Colantuono on LinkedIn

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