I've argued before that mentors are essential to startup success, but who trains the mentors? Can you get a mentorship mentor? As it happens, you can, and much like most coaches are themselves being coached, mentors usually have their own mentors.
That said, it's interesting to try and write down what a good mentor should do. Here's a list, by LeanStartupMachine mentor Giff Constable, of ten best practices for being a startup mentor. The habits are:
- Always start by defining the fundamental idea behind a product or service
- Prioritize the startup's biggest risks
- Get practical on the tactics to empirically mitigate risks
- Use your network to find them potential customers
- Challenge, play devil's advocate, and poke holes in arguments
- Let the team come to its own conclusions
- Less mentorship may be better
- Don't spoon feed, keep feedback crisp
- Collaborate with other mentors
- Be a mentor, not a CEO
Get the details here.