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Ecological Stewardship: The Biblical Perspective

Ecological Stewardship: The Biblical Perspective
(Article published in the book “Ecological Spirituality: Cross Cultural Perspective” edited by Davis George, J.G. Valan Arasu, Anjali D’Souza and Neelanjana Pathak in 2007)
Rev. Dr. Davis George

1. Ecological Challenges:
The effects of ecological degradation surround us: the smog in our cities; chemicals in our water and on our food; eroded topsoil blowing in the wind; the loss of valuable wetlands; radioactive and toxic waste lacking adequate disposal sites; threats to the health of industrial and farm workers. The problems, however, reach far beyond our own neighborhoods and work-places. Our problems are the world's problems and burdens for generations to come. Poisoned water crosses borders freely. Acid rain pours on countries that do not create it. Greenhouse gases and chlorofluorocarbons affect the earth's atmosphere for many decades, regardless of where they are produced or used.
Opinions vary about the causes and the seriousness of environmental problems. Still, we can experience their effects in polluted air and water; in oil and wastes on our beaches; in the loss of farmland, wetlands, and forests; and in the decline of rivers and lakes. Scientists identify several other less visible but particularly urgent problems currently being debated by the scientific community, including depletion of the ozone layer, deforestation, the extinction of species, the generation and disposal of toxic and nuclear waste, and global warming. These important issues are being explored by scientists, and they require urgent attention and action. We are not scientists, but as responsible citizen of the world we call on experts, citizens, and policymakers to continue to explore the serious environmental, ethical, and human dimensions of these ecological challenges.
Ecological issues are also linked to other basic problems. As eminent scientist Dr. Thomas F. Malone reported, humanity faces problems in five interrelated fields: environment, energy, economics, equity, and ethics. To ensure the survival of a healthy planet, we must not only establish a sustainable economy but must also labor for justice both within and among nations. We must seek a society where economic life and environmental commitment work together to protect and to enhance life on this planet.
2. Ecology: A Common Patrimony:
According to Pope John Paul II Ecology is our common patrimony. And the goods of the earth, which in the divine plan should be a common patrimony, often risk becoming the monopoly of a few who often spoil them and, sometimes, destroy them, thereby creating loss for all humanity. God has given the fruit of the earth to sustain the entire human family "without excluding or favoring anyone." The Second Vatican Council says "God destined the earth and all it contains for the use of every individual and all peoples".1
2.1 The Earth is a Gift to all Creatures
In the creation story we read in the Bible, "God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good." (Gen 1:31) The heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon, the earth and the sea, fish and birds, animals and humans—all are good. The whole creation is called to bless the Lord. (Pro 8:2; Dan 3:74-81) The earth, the Bible reminds us, is a gift to all creatures, to "all living beings–all mortal creatures that are on earth." (Gen 9:16-17) Hence the covenant of Noah consisted of all creatures. (Gen 9:9-10) It is amazing to see how all living creatures are taken care of and protected by God himself. God’s plan was that we live interconnected as we are interdependent.
Aquinas in Summa Theologica tells us that God produced many and diverse creatures. Hence the whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly, and represents it better than any single creature whatever. Respect for nature and respect for human life are inextricably related. "Respect for life, and above all for the dignity of the human person," Pope John Paul II has written, “extends also to the rest of creation.”  2 Pope John Paul II said.
2.2. Alienation from Nature: Ecological Crisis
In the name of development man has been consistently alienating himself from nature. Exploitation and depletion of natural resources to satisfy man’s insatiable lust and greed slowly made humanity more and more vulnerable to impoverished life and destruction. Human beings were made to be part of God’s creation with an added responsibility and accountability to make this planet earth more productive and fruitful for all God’s creation. Not paying heed to this sacred duty entrusted to him, man brought humanity to almost the verge of natural catastrophe.
2.2.1Global Ecological Destruction: Consumption and Population
Consumption in developed nations remains the single greatest source of global ecological destruction. A child born in the United States, for example, puts a far heavier burden on the world's resources than one born in a poor developing country.
To deal with population problems the world has to focus on sustainable social and economic development. According to Gandhi “there is enough in the world for man’s need, but not enough for man’s greed.”
3. The Ecological Crisis: A Moral Problem
Faced with the widespread destruction of the environment, people everywhere are coming to understand that we cannot continue to use the goods of the earth as we have in the past. . . . [A] new ecological awareness is beginning to emerge. . . . The ecological crisis is a moral issue.3
There is a growing awareness that world peace and prosperity is threatened not only by the arms race, regional conflicts and continued injustices among peoples and nations, but also by a lack of DUE RESPECT FOR NATURE, by the plundering of natural resources and by an progressive decline in the quality of life. The sense of precariousness and insecurity that such a situation engenders is a seedbed for collective selfishness, disregard for others and dishonesty. Faced with the widespread destruction of the environment, people everywhere are coming to understand that we cannot continue to use the goods of the earth as we have in the past. The public in general, as well as political leaders are concerned about this problem, and experts from a wide range of disciplines are studying its causes.
Pope John Paul II appreciated the great discoveries and technological advancements made by science. At the same time he expressed his concern over the indiscriminate application of advances in science and technology, which according to him have become a moral problem. As a result of this man is often oblivious of God’s plan which is so evident in nature. Every time we discover something new, we discover how God has implanted his laws in the smallest of atom and the biggest of constellation. This should be a humbling experience which makes him wonder at the order in the universe and worship the God in nature. John Paul II expressed his concern over the growing lack of respect for life. God alone is the author of life and we need to learn to respect life and be grateful for the wonder of life in so many forms. Indiscriminate genetic manipulation can result in untold miseries. Human beings could be treated as any other animal and the bonding between person to person, parents and children, families and society may be lost. In the name of progress and scientific advancements, we should not manipulate and exploit human needs and human situation. Ethical values must be safeguarded to preserve human dignity.
Uncontrolled destruction of animal and plant life has brought about imbalance in ecology and this in turn has affected human beings. To add to this we have witnessed reckless exploitation of natural resources. We end to forget that we are interdependent beings and man alone cannot survive on this planet earth. There is a growing awareness on this issue all around the world. 
4. Authentic Development: Option for the Poor
 The ecological problem is intimately connected to justice for the poor. Unrestrained economic development is not the answer to improving the lives of the poor. Material growth alone will not constitute a model of development. A "mere accumulation of goods and services, even for the benefit of the majority," as Pope John Paul II has said, "is not enough for the realization of human happiness." 4 He has also warned that in a desire "to have and to enjoy rather than to be and to grow," humanity "consumes the resources of the earth, subjecting it without restraint as if it did not have its own requisites and God-given purposes."
It must also be said that a proper ecological balance will not be found without DIRECTLY ADDRESSING THE STRUCTURAL FORMS OF POVERTY that exist throughout the world. Rural poverty and unjust land distribution in many countries, for example, have led to subsistence farming and to the exhaustion of the soil. Once their land yields no more, many farmers move on to clear new land, thus accelerating uncontrolled deforestation, or they settle in urban centers which lack the infrastructure to receive them. Likewise, some heavily indebted countries are destroying their natural heritage, at the price of irreparable ecological imbalances, in order to develop new products for export. In the face of such situations it would be wrong to assign the responsibility to the poor alone for the negative environmental consequences of their actions. Rather, the poor, to whom the earth is entrusted no less than to others, must be enabled to find a way out of their poverty. This will require a courageous reform of structures, as well as new ways of relating among peoples and States.

5. The Biblical Vision of God's Good Earth

We read in the Bible, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Gen 1:27-28)
Yet, man’s lordship is not "absolute, but ministerial: it is a real reflection of the unique and infinite lordship of God.  Hence, man must exercise it with wisdom and love, sharing in the boundless wisdom and love of God." 5.  In Biblical language, "to name" creatures (Genesis 2:19-20) is the sign of this mission of knowledge and transformation of created reality.  It is not the mission of an absolute and insensitive master, but of a minister of the Kingdom of God, called to continue the work of the Creator, a work of life and peace.  His responsibility, defined in the Book of Wisdom, is to govern "the world in holiness and justice" (Wisdom 9:3; Wisdom 13:5; Romans 1:20). The Book of Wisdom, echoed by Paul, celebrates this presence of God in the universe.  This is what the Jewish tradition of the Hasidim also sings “You are wherever I go!  You are wherever I stop… wherever I turn, wherever I admire, only You, again You, always You”.6
5.1 Bible and Ecology: Splendor of Creation
The book of Genesis teaches us that the Lord God formed us "out of the dust of the ground" (Gen 2:7; 3:19). Psalm 139 thanks God for fashioning us fearfully and wonderfully "in secret", "in the depths of the earth". The Psalms delight at and are full of awe over the mystery of our intimacy with the earth, our intimacy with "fire and hail, snow and mist", "mountains and all hills", "sea monsters and all depths" (Ps 148). Psalm 104, one of the most lyrical praises, sings the glory of God "robed in light as with a cloak", who "spread out the heavens like a tent cloth" and "made the moon to mark the seasons".
The Bible shows nature’s link with God who created it, blessed it, and shows himself through it. He appears in fire, in wind, and in water. God also uses nature to bring humans closer to him and to punish them when they go astray. Everything in the world, therefore, remains sacred since it is linked with God and leads to him. Various texts in the Psalms (Ps 19:1-7; 98:7-9; 104:1-5, 13-25; 148:3-13) show that all things on earth are seen as God’s handiwork which bring him honour and praise by their very existence.
The prophet Daniel in a canticle calls on all the "works of the Lord" to bless him: "Let the earth bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. Mountains and hills, bless the Lord, everything growing from the earth bless the Lord" (Dan 3:74-76). The last chapters of the Book of Job call upon the animals, nature, birds, etc., and praise God for their presence. Chapter 12 urges humans to learn humbly from the earth: "But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or the plants of the earth, and they will teach you " (Job 12:7, 8).15 The Bible is concerned with salvation or life-giving blessings not only in the afterlife but also within this world and within present history, individual and collective. It envisions a new world and a new history. Its salvific concern embraces nature, that is, the earth, air, trees, seas and birds.
The cosmos is God’s ‘womb’, as it were. The intimate relationship between God and the cosmos explodes with seminal energy that generates and regenerates life. God, as it were, energises the cosmos and the cosmos in return dances with the creator.
In Jesus’ teaching, one can see his ecological concern in his language. He used ordinary creatures such as birds, lilies, grass, etc., to help to put his message of concern for the world across. He also shared his experience of a loving God dynamically present in the world. He is encouraging his listeners to have eyes that see and ears that hear the movement of God in the world. Jesus was passing on to his listeners what he had discovered about God’s reign in the natural things around him.
The miracles of Jesus (37 of them in the Synoptic Gospels and seven in John) form a major section of the Gospels and reveal Jesus’ concern for the world as such. Through the miracles Jesus destroys the "domination" of Satan over the created realities and establishes the "dominion" of God which is liberating. In this sense all the miracles have ecological resonance. The nature miracles (Mk 4:35-41; 6:45-62, etc.) invite us to trust in the absolute power of God in the midst of ecological disasters. The feeding miracles (Mk 6:30-44; 8:1-10) tell us about the abundant resources of nature, which provide us with food and drink, and which need to be evenly distributed according to the needs of the people. The miracles of exorcism (Mk 5:2-20; Lk 4:35-41, etc.) reveal that cosmic ecological harmony is on the agenda of God who directs the forces of ecocide. The healing miracles (Mk 5:25-34, etc.) call us to be God’s stewards in the restoration of the disfigured images of God in creation, especially, human beings. The resuscitation miracles (Mk 5:21-21, 35-43, etc.) challenge us not to be silent spectators of the world-wide ecological holocaust that is taking place, but to be active agents in the creation of "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev 21:1-4).
A serious reflection on the life-events of Jesus Christ, his teaching and his miracles from an ecological point of view is very inspiring. Today, if one reads the Gospel from an ecological perspective one can see Jesus of the Gospel as an ‘Ecologist.’
5.2 Scientists learn from creation
Louis Agassiz, perhaps the greatest natural scientist of the nineteenth century, declared that it is the job of prophets and scientists alike to proclaim the glories of God and he spent his life as a scientist doing exactly that. As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, "The true doctrine of omnipresence is that God reappears with all his parts in every moss and cobweb.” 7 In our study of natural objects we are approaching the thoughts of the Creator, reading his conceptions, interpreting a system that is His and not ours.”8 "Facts are the words of God, and we may heap them together endlessly, but they will teach us little or nothing till we place them in their true relations, and recognize the thought that binds them together." 9
Today there is another interesting trend. It is that the number of inventions based on copying nature is now beginning to be systematically exploited. In so doing, one need not even bring up the argument over whether "nature" refers to the handiwork of God or millions of years of mindless evolution; all that matters is that nature is incredibly successful at solving problems with which we have struggled for years.
This trend began by noticing that many inventions were discovered by observing how "nature" had solved problems. Inventors spent centuries trying to invent the airplane after watching birds fly. The book Serendipity: Accidental Discoveries in Science chronicles several of these observations which led to inventions. It also includes some discoveries that really appear to have been accidents, but many came from simply noticing the invention already working in nature, and using scientific inquiry to discover just how they work. For example, the color purple is associated with royalty partly because the natural dye Tyrian purple could only be extracted from small mollusks in the Mediterranean Sea. It was very expensive because it took 9,000 of them to produce a gram of dye. The synthesis of this color by William Perkin led to the birth of the synthetic dye industry. Certain peptides which are highly effective in fighting a variety of bacteria were discovered when it was observed that some African frogs would heal perfectly in murky water filled with lethal bacteria. The list goes on and on. 10
The present scenario fosters the trend of a more systematic imitation of nature. The word "biomimicry" has been coined to refer to the idea of purposely copying nature to discover new inventions. The author of a book with that title sees this emerging field as the result of centuries of trying to fight nature as gradually succumbing to a trend to acknowledge nature's ways as best. She points out that not only has nature already invented everything we have but, it has many more inventions whose workings still evade us.
We realize that all our inventions have already appeared in nature in a more elegant form and at a lot less cost to the planet. Our most clever architectural struts and beams are already featured in lily pads and bamboo stems. Our central heating and air conditioning are bested by the termite tower's steady 86 degrees F. Our most stealthy radar is hard of hearing compared to the bat's multifrequency transmission. And our new 'smart materials' can't hold a candle to the dolphin's skin or to the butterfly's proboscis. Even the wheel, which we always took to be a uniquely human creation, has been found in the tiny rotary motor that propels the flagellum of the world's most ancient bacteria.
Humbling also are the hordes of organisms casually performing feats we can only dream about. Bioluminescent algae splash chemicals together to light their body lanterns. Arctic fish and frogs freeze solid and then spring to life, having protected their organs from ice damage. Black bears hibernate all winter without poisoning themselves on their urea, while their polar cousins stay active, with a coat of transparent hollow hairs covering their skins like the panes of a greenhouse. Chameleons and cuttlefish hide without moving, changing the pattern of their skin to instantly blend with their surroundings. Bees, turtles, and birds navigate without maps, while whales and penguins dive without scuba gear. How do they do it? How do dragonflies outmaneuver our best helicopters? How do hummingbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico on less than one tenth of an ounce of fuel? How do ants carry the equivalent of hundreds of pounds in a dead heat through the jungle?
No wonder that these marvelous creations inspire awe and reverence; they are the work of the Almighty. When we look on any or the least of these, we are looking at God moving in his majesty and power. The new millennium promises to provide many new and wonderful inventions as scientists recognize the hand of God in nature and begin to understand the principles behind so many inventions which are found everywhere in His creations.
6. Estrangement of Humans from Nature: Ecological Conversion
In the Book of Genesis, where we find God's first self-revelation to humanity (Gen 1-3), there is a recurring refrain: "AND GOD SAW IT WAS GOOD". After creating the heavens, the sea, the earth and all it contains, God created man and woman. At this point the refrain changes markedly: "And God saw everything he had made, and behold, IT WAS VERY GOOD" (Gen 1:31). God entrusted the whole of creation to the man and woman, and only then as we read could he rest "from all his work" (Gen 2:3).

Adam and Eve's call to share in the unfolding of God's plan of creation brought into play those abilities and gifts which distinguish human beings from all other creatures. At the same time, their call established a fixed relationship between mankind and the rest of creation. Made in the image and likeness of God, Adam and Eve were to have exercised their dominion over the earth (Gen 1:28) with wisdom and love. Instead, they destroyed the existing harmony BY DELIBERATELY GOING AGAINST THE CREATOR'S PLAN, that is, by choosing to sin. This resulted not only in man's alienation from himself, in death and fratricide, but also in the earth's "rebellion" against Him (Gen 3:17-19; 4:12).
 In the Bible's account of Noah, the world's new beginning was marked by the estrangement of humans from nature. Hosea, for example, cries out:
There is no fidelity, no mercy,
no knowledge of God in the land.
False swearing, lying, murder, stealing
and adultery!
in their lawlessness, bloodshed
follows bloodshed.
Therefore, the land mourns,
and everything that dwells in it
The beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and even the fish of the sea perish  (Hos 4:1b-3).
The idea of social justice is inextricably linked with ecology in the Scriptures. In passage after passage, environmental degradation and social injustice go hand in hand. Indeed, the first instance of "pollution" in the Bible occurs when Cain slays Abel and his blood falls on the ground, rendering it fallow. According to Genesis, after the murder, when Cain asks, "Am I my brother's keeper?" the Lord replies, "Your brother's blood calls out to me from the ground. What have you done?" God then tells Cain that his brother's blood has defiled the ground and that as a result, "no longer will it yield crops for you, even if you pray.”
In the biblical vision, therefore, injustice results in suffering for all creation.
To curb the abuse of the land and of fellow humans, ancient Israel set out legal protections aimed at restoring the original balance between land and people (Lev 25). Every seventh year, the land and people was to rest; nature would be restored by human restraint. And every seventh day, the Sabbath rest gave relief from unremitting toil to workers and beasts alike.
Pope John Paul II emphasized the need for personal conversion. “As individuals, as institutions, as a people, we need a change of heart to preserve and protect the planet for our children and for generations yet unborn.” 11 We need to have a paradigm shift -   from a culture of consumption to a culture of conserving; from depleting to replenishing.
7. Environmental Stewardship: God's Stewards and Co-Creators

7.1 Stewardship: Protecting the Environment for Future Generations

Stewardship is defined in this case as the ability to exercise moral responsibility to care for the environment. It implies that we must both care for creation according to standards that are not of our own making, and at the same time be resourceful in finding ways to make the earth flourish. In Genesis, God said "till it and keep it", (Gen 2:15) and this should be understood not as dominion over the whole world, but as the ‘stewardship’ of human beings over the creatures. We must have a relationship of mutuality with other creatures and we must empathize and participate with, delight in, and accompany the creatures to bring about a communion of all sections of creation whose head is God himself. It is awesome that the creator of this universe in his wisdom entrusted his own creation to human beings so that they may take care of it and make it productive and fruitful for the benefit of the entire of creation. He did not visualize that humans would exploit the creation for his selfish ends. Yet, God alone is sovereign over the whole earth. "The LORD'S are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it" (Ps 24:1). We are not free, therefore, to use created things capriciously. Humanity's arrogance and acquisitiveness, however, led time and again to our growing alienation from nature (Gen 3:4; 6:9, 11)
7.2 Theological and Ethical Foundations of Stewardship
God, the Creator of all things, rules over all and deserves our worship and adoration (Ps. 103:19—22). The earth, and, with it, all the cosmos, reveals its Creator’s wisdom and goodness (Ps. 19:1—6) and is sustained and governed by his power and loving-kindness (Ps. 102:25—27; Ps. 104; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3, 10—12). Men and women were created in the image of God, given a privileged place among creatures, and commanded to exercise stewardship over the earth (Gen. 1:26—28; Ps. 8:5). Our stewardship under God implies that we are morally accountable to him for treating creation in a manner that best serves the objectives of the kingdom of God. However, both moral accountability and dominion over the earth depend on the freedom to choose. The exercise of these virtues and this calling, therefore, require that we act in an arena of considerable freedom–not unrestricted license, but freedom exercised within the boundaries of God’s moral law revealed in Scripture and in the human conscience (Exod. 20:1—17; Deut. 5:6—21; Rom. 2:14—15). These facts are not vitiated by the fact that humankind fell into sin (Gen. 3). Rather, our sinfulness has brought God’s responses, first in judgment, subjecting humankind to death and separation from God (Gen. 2:17; 3:22—24; Rom. 5:12—14; 6:23) and subjecting creation to the curse of futility and corruption (Gen. 3:17—19; Rom. 8:20—21); and then in restoration, through Christ’s atoning, redeeming death for his people, reconciling them to God (Rom. 5:10—11, 15—21; 2 Cor. 5:17—21; Eph. 2:14—17; Col. 1:19—22), and through his wider work of delivering the earthly creation from its bondage to corruption (Rom. 8:19—23). Indeed, Christ even involves fallen humans in this work of restoring creation (Rom. 8:21). As Francis Bacon wrote in Novum Organum Scientiarum (New Method of Science), that man by the ‘Fall’ fell at the same time from his state of innocence and from his dominion over creation. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life be in some parts repaired; the former by religion and faith, the latter by the arts and sciences. Sin, then, makes it difficult for humans to exercise godly stewardship, nonetheless the work of Christ in, on, and through his people and the creation makes it largely possible.
When He created the world, God set aside a unique place, the Garden of Eden, and placed in it the first man, Adam (Gen. 2:8—15). God instructed Adam to cultivate and guard the Garden (Gen. 2:15)–to enhance its already great fruitfulness and to protect it against the encroachment of the surrounding wilderness that made up the rest of the earth. Having also created the first woman and having joined her to Adam (Gen. 2:18—25), God commanded them and their descendants to multiply, to spread out beyond the boundaries of the Garden of Eden, and to fill, subdue, and rule the whole earth and everything in it (Gen. 1:26, 28). Both by endowing them with his image and by placing them in authority over the earth, God gave men and women superiority and priority over all other earthly creatures. This implies that proper environmental stewardship, while it seeks to harmonize the fulfillment of the needs of all creatures, nonetheless puts human needs above non-human needs when the two are in conflict.
Some environmentalists reject this vision as "anthropocentric" or "speciesist," and instead promote a "biocentric" alternative. But the alternative, however attractively humble it might sound, is really untenable. People, alone among creatures on earth, have both the rationality and the moral capacity to exercise stewardship, to be accountable for their choices, to take responsibility for caring not only for themselves but also for other creatures. To reject human stewardship is to embrace, by default, no stewardship. The only proper alternative to selfish anthropocentrism is not biocentrism but Theo centrism: a vision of earth care with God and his perfect moral law at the center and human beings acting as his accountable stewards. 
7.3 Authentic development based on Justice.
How are we to fulfill God's call to be stewards of creation in an age when we may have the capacity to alter that creation significantly and perhaps irrevocably? How can we as a "family of nations" exercises stewardship in a way that respects and protects the integrity of God's creation and provides for the common good? For this we need to focus on economic and social progress based on justice. Sustainable development can happen only when we focus on justice; justice not only for the rich, but also for the poor and marginalized; even to all other plant and animal kingdoms. In the name of development we have often destroyed the mother earth on whom we depend for survival. Exploitation of the environment has resulted in ecological imbalance and poses great threat to future of the planet earth. The common good calls us to extend our concern to future generations. Climate change poses the question "What does our generation owe to generations yet unborn?” As Pope John Paul II has written, "there is an order in the universe which must be respected, and . . . the human person, endowed with the capability of choosing freely, has a grave responsibility to preserve this order for the well-being of future generations."12

Passing along the problem of global climate change to future generations as a result of our delay, indecision, or self-interest would be easy. But we simply cannot leave this problem for the children of tomorrow. As stewards of their heritage, we have an obligation to respect their dignity and to pass on their natural inheritance, so that their lives are protected and, if possible, made better than our own.
A more responsible approach to population issues is the promotion of "authentic development," which represents a balanced view of human progress and includes respect for nature, respect for order in the universe and social well-being.

7.4 Interdependence to solidarity and moral responsibility

"The ecological crisis," Pope John Paul II has written, "reveals the urgent moral need for a new solidarity, especially in relations between the developing nations and those that are highly industrialized".13 The earth's atmosphere encompasses all people, creatures, and habitats. The melting of ice sheets and glaciers, the destruction of rain forests, and the pollution of water in one place can have environmental impacts elsewhere. As Pope John Paul II has said, "We cannot interfere in one area of the ecosystem without paying due attention both to the consequences of such interference in other areas and to the well being of future generations." 14 Responses to global climate change should reflect our interdependence and common responsibility for the future of our planet. Individual nations must measure their own self-interest against the greater common good and contribute equitably to global solutions.
Pope John Paul II has said that interdependence, must be transformed into solidarity. Surmounting every type of imperialism and determination to preserve their own hegemony, the stronger and richer nations must have a sense of moral responsibility for the other nations, so that a real international system may be established which will rest on the foundation of the equality of all peoples and on the necessary respect for their legitimate differences."15 Whether we like it or not, we have all been born on this earth as part of one great family. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, belonging to one nation, religion, ideology or another, ultimately each of us is just a human being just like everyone else. We all desire happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, each of us has the same right to pursue happiness and avoid suffering. When we recognize that all beings are equal in this respect, we automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Out of this, in turn, comes a genuine sense of universal responsibility: the wish to actively help others overcome their problems.
Nowadays, significant events in one part of the world eventually affect the entire planet. Therefore, we have to treat each major local problem as a global concern from the moment it begins. We can no longer invoke the national, racial or ideological barriers that separate us without destructive repercussions. Tenzin Gyatso Dalai Lama of Tibet said that in the face of such global problems as the greenhouse effect and depletion of the ozone layer, individual organizations and single nations are helpless. Unless we all work together, no solution can be found. Our mother earth is teaching us a lesson in universal responsibility.  Good wishes alone are not enough; we have to assume responsibility.
8. Conclusion: Need of the Hour - Ecological Balance.
We are amazed to see the marvels of science and technology and at the same time saddened to see human starvation in some parts of the world and extinction of other life forms. Where Exploration of outer space is taking place paradoxically the earth’s own ocean, seas and freshwater areas grow increasingly polluted, and their life forms are still largely unknown or misunderstood…Many of the earth's habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even microorganisms that we know as rare may not be known at all by future generations.  We have the capability and the responsibility to take proactive steps to preserve the ecological balance.  The whole universe is God's dwelling. Earth, a very small, uniquely blessed corner of that universe, gifted with unique natural blessings, is humanity's home, and humans are never so much at home as when God dwells with them. In the beginning, the first man and woman walked with God in the cool of the day. Throughout history, people have continued to meet the Creator on mountaintops, in vast deserts, and alongside waterfalls and gently flowing springs. In storms and earthquakes, they found expressions of divine power. In the cycle of the seasons and the courses of the stars, they have discerned signs of God's fidelity and wisdom. We still share, though dimly, in that sense of God's presence in nature.
For many people, the environmental movement has reawakened appreciation of the truth that, through the created gifts of nature, men and women encounter their Creator. The Christian vision of a sacramental universe–a world that discloses the Creator's presence by visible and tangible signs–can contribute to making the earth a home for the human family once again. Pope John Paul II has called for Christians to respect and protect the environment, so that through nature people can "contemplate the mystery of the greatness and love of God."
Reverence for the Creator present and active in nature, moreover, may serve as a ground for ecological responsibility. For the very plants and animals, mountains and oceans, which in their loveliness and sublimity lift our minds to God, by their fragility and perishing likewise cry out, "We have not made ourselves." God brings them into being and sustains them in existence. It is to the Creator of the universe, then, that we are accountable for what we do or fail to do to preserve and care for the earth and all its creatures. For "the LORD'S are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it" (Ps 24:1). Dwelling in the presence of God, we begin to experience ourselves as part of creation, as stewards within it, not separate from it. As faithful stewards, fullness of life comes from living responsibly within God's creation.

Stewardship implies that we must both care for creation according to standards that are not of our own making and at the same time be resourceful in finding ways to make the earth flourish. It is a difficult balance, requiring both a sense of limits and a spirit of experimentation. Even as we rejoice in the earth's goodness and in the beauty of nature, stewardship places upon us the responsibility of the well-being of all God's creatures.
Education in ecological responsibility is urgent if our “paradise lost" has to be regained. The children have to be taught to respect their neighbors and to love nature. "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."-Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) 36th President of the United States.


  1. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), no69, in Austin Flannery, ed., Vatican Council (Gaudium et Spes, 69).
  2. John Paul II, The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility (Washington,  D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1990), no. 7.
  3. Ibid., nos. 1, 15.
  4. John Paul II, On Social Concern (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis) (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1988), no. 28.
  5. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae," NewYork, Random House, 1995,  no. 52
  6. M. Buber,” I Racconti dei Chassidium,” Milan 1079, p.256
  7. T Royston M. Roberts, Serendipity: Accidental Discoveries in Science, Wiley & Sons, New York, 1989.
  8. The Agassiz, Louis, Methods of Study in Natural History, Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1863, p. 14
  9. Agassiz, Louis, "Evolution and Permanence Type" reprinted in The Intelligence of Agassiz by Guy Davenport, Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1983, p. 231.
  10. Benyus, Janine M., Biomimicry, William Morrow, New York, 1997, pp. 6-7.
  11. John Paul II, The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1990), no. 6.
  12. John Paul II, "The Exploitation of the Environment Threatens the Entire Human Race," address to the Vatican symposium on the environment (1990), in Ecology and Faith: The Writings of Pope John Paul II, ed. Sr. Ancilla Dent, OSB (Berkhamsted, England: Arthur James, 1997), 12.
  13. John Paul II, The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility (Washington,  D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1990), no.10
  14. Ibid., no. 6.
  15. See also treatment of this topic in Stewardship: A Disciple's Response (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1993),39.
  16.  Wallace, Mark I. Fragments of the Spirit: Nature, Violence, and the Renewal of Creation. New York: Continuum, 1996.
  17. Williams, George H. “Christian Attitudes toward Nature.” Parts 1 and 2. Christian Scholar’s Review 2, no. 1 (fall 1971): 3–35; no. 2 (spring 1972): 112–26.
    Wilderness and Paradise in Christian Thought. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1962.
  18. Zizioulas, John. “Preserving God’s Creation: Three Lectures on Theology and Ecology.” Parts 1–3. King’s Theological Review 12 (spring 1989): 1–5; 12 (autumn 1989): 41–45; 13 (spring 1990): 1–5.
  19. John Paul II, On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum (Centesimus  Annus) (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,  1991), no. 38.
  20. John Paul II, "International Solidarity Needed to Safeguard Environment," Address by the Holy Father to the European Bureau for the Environment, L'Osservatore Romano (June 26, 1996).

Mentoring Paradigm Shift in Academic Leadership

Mentoring: Paradigm Shift in Academic Leadership
Dr. Fr. Davis George
(Article published in the book “Higher   Education: Quality and Management” Edited by S. M. Paul Khurana & P. K. Singhal), 2010.)
1. Introduction: Leaders Make Things Happen.
As Ralph Nader rightly said, “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” According to John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, you are a leader.”  Leaders make things happen. A visionary leader stands for enhancing and sustaining quality, empowering people and ushering in the required paradigm shift to redefine the vision and mission of the institution and meet the challenges of the times. Institutions flourish or perish depending largely on the leadership qualities of the persons at the helm of affairs, 2Sigma effect of change can be brought about by mentoring and coaching. Words of affirmation and guidance would make the team explore the latent potentials and produce the required synergy to sustain capacity building. Transformational leadership through relationship to achieve the required purpose would be more enduring. Soft skills when compliment hard skills can maximize the effectiveness of leadership. Personal integrity and authenticity would enhance trust and credibility. "You be the change you want to see in others", said Mahatma Gandhi. Management of change - of self and others, in a positive and proactive way would make the leadership effective. 
If you just walk into any bookstore you will find hundreds of leadership books purport to answer all questions concerning leadership. Broadly, the research, thinking, and writing about leadership can be divided into two camps. One camp holds that leadership is all about behavior and that if you want to excel, you should learn and replicate the key behaviors of good leaders. Many companies pursue this view by developing competency models and then rigorously assessing and training their leaders accordingly. The other camp holds that leadership is all about character, values, and authenticity and companies that adhere to this view focus on transmitting company values and orienting leaders to the right way to do things. Stephen Covey advocates principle-centred leadership for effective and sustainable impact.
Leaders who do not succeed tend to be people who lack self-awareness. Daniel Goleman has made this basic truth clear by describing the importance of emotional intelligence as an important component of effective leadership. Ineffective leaders don’t understand their own motivations or acknowledge their weaknesses; they don’t engage in reflection, especially when they fail and are unwilling to assume accountability. As smart and skilled as these people may be, they don’t really know themselves, and this lack of self-knowledge derails them, especially when they face new leadership challenges. High-performing leaders, however, are aware of their strengths and their weaknesses; they talk and think about their limitations and failures and try to learn from them.
1.1 Behavioral perspectiveA behavioral perspective on leadership focuses not on what a leader is, as the trait approach does, it focuses on what a leader does. Two classic series of leadership studies, done primarily in the 1950's and 1960's at the Universities of Ohio State and Michigan, have led to the fundamental distinction between task-oriented and person-oriented leadership behaviour. It seems clear that successful leadership involves both (1) attention to the task and getting the job done, while also (2) attending to people and social processes.  A task focus is necessary if a group is going to stay on track and achieve its goals. One aspect of leadership behaviour, therefore, must concentrate on defining roles, providing structures, directing activities, communicating information, scheduling, etc. It is critical that leaders attend to the content of decisions and tasks at hand. These types of activities, however, are all too frequently the sole focus of the leader and the group.  The second factor these studies highlighted, of equal importance, relates to consideration of peoples' feelings and the building of mutual trust and respect for people's ideas and attitudes. It is also concerned with how the group goes about achieving what it needs to achieve.
1.2 Transformational perspectiveAnother, more recently distinguished idea is between transactional and transformational leadership.  Transactional leaders attempt to satisfy the current needs of followers by focusing their attention on tasks and interpersonal exchanges.  Transformational leaders, on the other hand, attempt to stimulate followers and promote dramatic changes in individuals, groups and organizations (Burns, 1978).
One critical difference between transactional and transformational leadership is in regards to performance. It has been suggested that transactional leadership provides the basis for expected levels of performance, while transformational leadership builds upon that base resulting in performance beyond expectations (Bass, 1985). According to Yammarino, Spangler and Bass (1993), transformational leaders "motivate subordinates to do more than originally expected. They raise the consciousness of subordinates about the importance and value of designated outcomes and ways of reaching them and, in turn, get subordinates to transcend their own immediate self-interests for the sake of the mission and vision of the organization. Subordinates' confidence levels are raised and their needs are expanded.” This increased motivation is linked to three factors of transformational leadership:
1. Transformational leaders are more charismatic and inspiring in the eyes of their followers. They inspire commitment, instill a vision and excite people. They are well trusted and their followers feel confidence in them. 2. Transformational leaders give individual consideration. They pay attention to individual differences in subordinates' needs for growth and development. They coach, mentor and assign tasks that not only satisfy immediate needs, but stretch peoples’ capabilities in an effort toward improvement. They also link the individual's current needs to the organization’s mission.     3. Transformational leaders provide intellectual stimulation. They raise peoples' awareness of issues and problems. They help people become aware of their own thoughts, imagination, beliefs and values. It is through intellectual stimulation that transformational leaders facilitate the generation of new methods of accomplishing the organizational mission.
2.  Visionary Leadership
Vision is what determines what an organization is going to try to accomplish. Without a clear vision the organization will be pulled in many different directions.  It is much easier to lead if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and your ideas are good. Even if you don't have a tremendous amount of skill as a leader, having a clear vision can help you through your shortcomings. People want to follow someone with a plan. By having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, you will attract followers and people who want to align themselves with your vision. Individuals realize that one of the cornerstones of success is a clear vision. For this reason they want to align themselves with someone who articulates a vision - they want to join in the success. In fact, a poor leader with a great vision will achieve more than a great leader with an ill-conceived plan. People want to follow someone who will lead them to success. If you appear to be able to do this, people will want to follow you. If you have a track record of success, people will want to follow you. If you are pushing people toward shared success, they will tend to stick with you because they are succeeding. In some cases they may even start mimicking some of your poor leadership habits thinking they are part of the reason for your success. Many people mistake success for good leadership skills. That is because people want to follow people with whom they can be successful. Obviously good leadership skills are very important. It is much better to lead with a solid vision and skillful leadership expertise.

Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight, and boldness. They present a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. They work with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. Their eyes are on the horizon, not just on the near at hand. They are social innovators and change agents, seeing the big picture and thinking strategically.  There is a profound interconnectedness between the leader and the whole, and true visionary leaders serve the good of the whole. They recognize that there is some truth on both sides of most polarized issues in our society today. They search for solutions that transcend the usual adversarial approaches and address the causal level of problems. They find a higher synthesis of the best of both sides of an issue and address the systemic root causes of problems to create real breakthroughs. 

2.1 What is it that makes a visionary become a visionary leader?  : A visionary may dream wonderful visions of the future and articulate them with great inspiration. A visionary is good with words.  But a visionary leader is good with actions as well as words, and so can bring his/her vision into being in the world, thus transforming it in some way. More than words are needed for a vision to take form in today’s world.  It requires leadership and heartfelt commitment. A visionary leader is effective in manifesting his or her vision because s/he creates specific, achievable goals, initiates action and enlists the participation of others.
What is the mysterious inner process within leaders that enables them to work their magic and radiate the charisma that mobilizes others for a higher purpose?  Visionary leadership is based on a balanced expression of the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical dimensions.  It requires core values, clear vision, empowering relationships, and innovative action.  When one or more of these dimensions are missing, leadership cannot manifest a vision.  The best visionary leaders move energy to a higher level by offering a clear vision of what is possible. They inspire people to be better than they already are and help them identify with what Lincoln called “the angels of their better nature.”  This was the power of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. The creative power of lighted, inspired words can sound a certain inner note that people recognize and respond to.  This, then, creates dramatic social change. Like King, visionary leaders have the ability to sense the deeper spiritual needs of the followers and link their current demands to this deeper, often unspoken, need for purpose and meaning.
Visionary leaders often have the ability to see higher spiritual forces at work behind the scenes of events, and they align with the vision of these redemptive forces.  Both George Washington and Winston Churchill spoke about the help they received from a “guiding hand.”  Churchill said, “...we have a guardian because we serve a great cause, and we shall have that guardian as long as we serve that cause faithfully.”
3. Leadership in Practice: Empowerment
There are different types of leaders and you will probably encounter more than one type in your lifetime. Formal leaders are those we elect into positions or offices such as the senators, congressmen, and presidents of the local clubs. Informal leaders are those we look up to by virtue of their wisdom and experience such as in the case of the elders of a tribe, or our grandparents; or by virtue of their expertise and contribution on a given field such as Albert Einstein in the field of Theoretical Physics and Leonardo da Vinci in the field of the Arts. Successful leaders are able to motivate, energize and empower others. When people are excited and empowered in this sense, it affects both their task initiation and task persistence. That is, empowered people get more involved, take on more difficult situations, and act more confidently. Empowered people expend more effort on a given task and are more persistent in their efforts.
The central question for us is how can leaders empower, motivate and activate people? Based on Bandura's (1974) classic work on self-efficacy beliefs and their effects on peoples' sense of personal power, we will discuss several means of empowering others. We know that people gain confidence when they take on a new and complex task, receive training if necessary, and complete a task successfully. Therefore, one important set of leadership skills relates to mentoring, coaching and counseling wherein we are concerned with providing employees with the necessary direction, information, skills and support necessary for task mastery. We also know that when people feel more capable, they are empowered intellectually. There is a wealth of evidence that what we believe we are capable of doing is shaped by what others believe us to be capable of. If we expect people to succeed they will be more likely to do so than if we expect them to fail. Therefore, another critical set of leadership skills is related to oral persuasion and motivation.  A third process for activating people is to provide a successful role-model from which to observe and learn. This modeling and role-model effect is not as powerful as actually experiencing mastery; however, it does have positive effects (Bandura, 1986). Therefore, a third set of leadership skills is powerful-people skills, related to how you as an individual can feel and behave more powerfully, and can act as a positive leadership role-model.  Each of these will be considered in more detail below.
4.  Leadership Styles
Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. There are normally three styles of leadership (U.S. Army Handbook, 1973) : Authoritarian or autocratic, Participative or democratic, Delegative or Free Reign. Although good leaders use all three styles, with one of them normally dominate, bad leaders tend to stick with one style.

4.1. Authoritarian (autocratic): This style is used when the leader tells his/her employees what s/he wants done and how s/he wants it done, without getting the advice of his/her followers. Some of the appropriate conditions to use it are when you have all the information to solve the problem, you are short on time, and your employees are well motivated. Some people tend to think of this style as a vehicle for yelling, using demeaning language, and leading by threats and abusing their power. This is not the authoritarian style...rather it is an abusive, unprofessional style called bossing people around. It has no place in a leader’s repertoire. The authoritarian style should normally be used only on rare occasions. If you have the time and want to gain more commitment and motivation from your employees, then you should use the participative style.

4.2 Participative (democratic): This type of style involves the leader including one or more employees in on the decision making process (determining what to do and how to do it). However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority. Using this style is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is a sign of strength that your employees will respect. This is normally used when you have part of the information, and your employees have other parts. Note that a leader is not expected to know everything - this is why you employ knowledgeable and skillful employees. Using this style is of mutual benefit - it allows them to become part of the team and allows you to make better decisions.

4.3 Delegative (free reign): In this style, the leader allows the employees to make the decision. However, the leader is still responsible for the decisions that are made. This is used when employees are able to analyze the situation and determine what needs to be done and how to do it. You cannot do everything! You must set priorities and delegate certain tasks. This is not a style to use so that you can blame others when things go wrong, rather this is a style to be used when you have the full trust and confidence in the people below you. Do not be afraid to use it, however, use it wisely! A good leader uses all three styles, depending on what forces are involved between the followers, the leader, and the situation. Some examples include:

·                    Using an authoritarian style on a new employee who is just learning the job.
·                    The leader is competent and a good coach. The employee is motivated to learn a new skill. The situation is a new environment for the employee.
·                    Using a participative style with a team of workers who know their job. The leader knows the problem, but does not have all the information.
·                    The employees know their jobs and want to become part of the team.
·                    Using a delegative style with a worker who knows more about the job than you. You cannot do everything! The employee needs to take ownership of her job. Also, the situation might call for you to be at other places, doing other things.
5. Leadership Styles Depend on the Situation.
Most of the time, leaders employ a combination of leadership styles, depending on the situation. In emergency situations such as periods of war and calamity, decision-making is a matter of life and death. Thus, a nation's leader cannot afford to consult with all departments to arrive at crucial decisions. The case is of course different in times of peace and order - different sectors and other branches of government can freely interact and participate in governance. Another case in point is in leading organizations. When the staffs are highly motivated and competent, a combination of high delegative and moderate participative styles of leadership is most appropriate. But, if the staffs have low competence and low commitment, a combination of high coaching, high supporting, and high directing behavior from organizational leaders is required. Leadership is not about rulers and subordinates, masters and slaves. It is not about management skills or having the right structure. Leadership is about building a sense of community, ownership, family and accountability. Rank does have privileges, but wise leaders never rely on power to get things done.
6. Mentoring: Awakening the Sleeping Giant
Globalization has ushered in era of competition and impersonal existence with emphasis exclusively on task and results. Persons and their uniqueness have become things of the past. Survival of the fittest has come to stay. Success at any cost seems to have become the maxim. Competencies and talents often remain buried in this world of cut throat competition. And yet when institutions and organizations are ready to embark on a journey of mentoring their protégés and employees, the result would be incomparable. What we do in mentoring is that we awaken the sleeping giant.
Mentoring is not the same as teaching. Very often, people misconstrue mentors to be the same as teachers. Employees can find mentors in professional and personal lives. A mentor is not just a teacher. Nor is he a coach or trainer. The job of a mentor encompasses more than that of a teacher and a coach. A mentor literally takes his mentee under his wing and is morally responsible for the development of the student. A mentor is not just involved in imparting technical knowledge to his students. He is also involved in the emotional and spiritual development of the student. A mentor can have an involved relationship with the mentee than the relationship with a coach.  
It is very difficult to nurture and manage a mentor – mentee relationship. Not every senior employee is equipped to play the role of a mentor as the job of a mentor is very demanding. However, organizations that encourage mentorship go a long way in building their human capital. Organizational structures are stronger because of mentors. Corporate mentors can build healthy climates for employees with a positive mentoring program. A mentor participates in the transition of the employee's organizational growth and is actively involved in the establishment of the employee's new organizational roles. A mentor helps the mentee chart out long term career goals with the organization and stimulates the mentee to enhance work competencies.

A mentor is a person who has a vast repertoire of experience in the field that he trains. Mentors have had both experience and professional training in the subject that he has to mentor. For instance, leadership mentors need to have adequate experience as leaders and should have undergone leadership training themselves. What do mentors offer to their students that formal training sessions cannot offer? For one, the mentors can use personal experiences as lessons for students. Moreover, mentors are capable of resolving dynamic issues due to their abundant knowledge and experience in the field. A training program cannot possibly prepare students to face unexpected challenges. Mentors can vary their training depending on the nature of their students and the different levels of complexity faced by the mentee.

A mentor need not be an immediate superior or for that matter belong to the same department. Cross department mentoring is very common and often encouraged. With a mentor from another department, needless office politics don't creep into the relationship. Moreover, the mentee finds a mentor at a similar position of power as that of his boss. The mentor-mentee relationship is often less autocratic, but more compassionate. There could be conflicts of viewpoint between them but it does not hurt their relationship in any way.
A mentor grooms his students to take on higher responsibilities and face all odds that surface in the journey. Mentors have to prepare their students to tackle organizational roadblocks, power games, bad will, subordinate resistance and other such challenges. The relationship of a mentor and a mentee can extend well beyond the mentoring program. Some mentoring relationships end as per the agreement made by organizations. Some could end even more abruptly if the relationship does not work out amicably. In any case, it is the duty of the mentor to formally close the relationship and ensure that the termination of the relationship does not affect the student's achievements.
Mentoring is a relationship where a mentor, through support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive example, helps another person (usually a young person) reach his or her work and life goals. Although many people may equate mentoring with friendship, mentoring actually has its roots in the professional world. Mentoring principles and practices have perpetuated the continuity of art, craft and commerce dating back to ancient times where masters taught, coached and guided the skills development of apprentices. Mentoring is a relationship built on trust. It is not expensive, and the return on investment of a successful mentoring relationship can be profound and significant.
Mentoring relationships provide valuable support to young people. Mentors can help guide youth through the sometimes awkward developmental stages that accompany the transition into adulthood. Mentoring can offer not only academic and career guidance, but also role models for leadership, interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Many youth with disabilities, like other disadvantaged youth, have not had the same opportunities as their peers for exposure to career preparation options like mentoring. Even today, some youth with disabilities play at best a passive role in their own career-planning process. This may reflect low expectations that either they or others have, learned dependency, or the perceived need for protection and support.
By and large, youth appreciate mentors who are supportive, caring, and willing to assist them with activities that support academic, career, social or personal goals. One common theme is that the longer the relationship continues, the more positive the outcome. Another is that youth are more likely to benefit from mentoring if their mentor maintains frequent contact with them and knows their families. As a general rule, youth who are disadvantaged or at-risk stand to gain the most from mentoring. Youth with disabilities are among these populations.

When we applied mentoring to teaching and teachers, it can improve teaching performance, increase the retention of new teachers, promote the personal and professional well-being of new teachers, and transmit the culture of the educational system to beginning teachers. A mentoring program should provide opportunities for new and experienced teachers to grow professionally and improve their teaching. It is more than just assigning an   experienced teacher with a novice teacher. It has been noticed that 30% of new teachers quit during the first two years; 50% leave teaching during the first four years.  It costs an institution time and money to recruit, hire and train new teachers.

A mentor can be to provide a new teacher with insight on: motivating students, providing for individual differences of students’ assessing student work, relating to parents, organizing class work, obtaining materials and supplies, assistance with discipline and so on. A mentor can provide a new teacher:
®Ideas about instruction
®Personal and emotional support
®Advice on resources and materials
®Information about school, district policies and procedures
®Ideas for additional techniques on classroom management

 This suggests that new teachers with a mentor can focus on instructional needs rather than concentrating on classroom management.
6.1 Mentoring: definition and explanation
If you touch me soft and gentle, if you look at me and smile at me, if you listen to me talk sometimes, before you talk, I will grow, really grow.  -  Bradley. “The best mentors are the people in your life who push you just a little bit outside your “comfort zone” -Leigh Curl. “Mentors are guides.  They lead us along the journey of our lives.  We trust them because they have been there before.  They embody our hopes, cast light on the way ahead, interpret arcane signs, warn us of lurking dangers, and point out unexpected delights along the way…”  Laurent A Daloz.
Interestingly, the concept of mentoring stems from Greek mythology. Mentor was Odysseus's friend and teacher to his son Telemachus. In Homer's Odyssey, Athena, the goddess, assumed the form of Mentor to proffer advice to Odysseus and Telemachus. Since then, the word Mentor has become synonymous with someone who is a wise advisor. The name is synonymous with a person who guides another toward the path of education, growth, maturity, development, progress and prosperity. An organization can use the art of mentoring as a tool to help bring out the best in their younger employees, leveraging the synergy for individual and organizational growth and success.
Dr Audrey Collin (1979), of the School of Management at Leicester Polytechnic, gathered a number of largely US definitions of mentoring for an article in Personnel Review magazine. Mentors were said, for example, to be ‘influential people who significantly help you reach your major life goals'. Mentoring is ‘a process in which one person [the mentor] is responsible for overseeing the career and development of another person [the mentee] outside the normal manager/subordinate relationship'. Alternatively, mentoring was ‘a protected relationship in which learning and experimentation can occur, potential skills can be developed, and in which results can be measured in terms of competencies gained rather than curricular territory covered'.
The basic model of mentoring is that one person passes his/her greater knowledge and wisdom to another. (Hay, 1995) A mentor is a professional person who is a wise, experienced, knowledgeable individual who ‘either demands or gently coaxes' the most out of the mentee. (Caruso, 1992) “A one-to-one relationship in which a senior manager oversees the development and progression of a more junior manager” (Equal Opportunities Review, 1995). "Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be" (Eric Par sloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring). Thus, as said by John C. Crosby, “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
 All of these definitions are valid in the specific context which they were intended to describe. None, however, can truly be said to be generic - equally applicable in all situations. As with most definitions of complex phenomena, the more generic they are, the vaguer they tend to be! Mentoring is a partnership between two people built upon trust. It is a process in which the mentor offers ongoing support and development opportunities to the mentee. Addressing issues and blockages identified by the mentee, the mentor offers guidance, counseling and support in the form of pragmatic and objective assistance. Both share a common purpose of developing a strong two-way learning relationship.
6.2 Coaching: Coaching is a relatively directive means of helping someone develop competence. It is relatively directive because the coach is in charge of the process. Although there are, in turn, four basic styles of coaching, which range from the highly directive to more stimulative, learner-driven approaches, it is common for the learning goals to be set either by the coach or by a third party. In the world of work, coaching goals are most frequently established as an outcome of performance appraisal. The issue of learner commitment (is this really what matters to them?) is therefore relevant. Some of the useful behaviours effective coaches may display include challenging the learner's assumptions, being a critical friend and demonstrating how they do something the learner is having difficulties with.
6.3 Counseling: Counseling - in the context of support and learning, as opposed to therapy - is a relatively non-directive means of helping someone cope. By acting as a sounding-board, helping someone structure and analyze career-influencing decisions, and sometimes simply by being there to listen, the mentor supports the mentee in taking responsibility for his or her career and personal development.
6.4 Networking: To function effectively within any organization, people need personal networks. At the very least they need an information network (How do I find out what I need to know?) and an influence network (How do I get people, over whom I have no direct control, to do things for me?). The same is true for the unemployed young adult in the context of community mentoring, for newly recruited researchers at university and for people in many other situations where mentoring can be applied. Effective mentors help their mentees develop self-resourcefulness by making them aware of the plethora of influence and information resources available to them - people, organizations and more formal repositories of knowledge. They may make an introduction to someone they already know, or talk the mentee through how he or she will make his or her own introduction to that person, or help the mentee build entire chunks of virgin network.
6.5 Guiding:  Guiding (effectively acting as a guardian) is another relatively hands-on role and is the one most managers find easiest because it is closest to what they do normally. Giving advice comes naturally. It is unfortunate that so many managers who have attended coaching courses or read well-meant books on the developmental role of the supervisor come away feeling guilty, or worse, that they have to constantly restrain themselves from giving straight answers to their direct reports. The reality is that there are many situations where asking ‘What do you think you should do?' is not an appropriate response. Using the tools of reflective analysis at inappropriate times is likely to have a far greater de-motivating effect than simply leaving well alone. Equally, however, always providing the answer is not going to help someone grow. Because, being a guide/guardian tends to carry with it a relatively strong element of being a role model - an example of success in whatever field the learner has chosen to pursue - one's behaviours, good or bad, are likely to be passed on to the learner along with more practical support. The aim is to make the person aware of his unique capabilities and to ensure that he maximizes his potential and minimizes his weaknesses.
Finally, mentoring draws on all four other ‘helping to learn' styles. Indeed, the core skill of a mentor can be described as having sufficient sensitivity to the mentee's needs to respond with the appropriate behaviors. Thus, the effective mentor may use the challenging behaviors of stretch coaching at one point and the empathetic listening of counseling a short while later.
7.  Coaching Vs Mentoring:
Given the frequent confusion between these two terms, it is worth drawing out the differences more finely. Although coaching and mentoring share some tools and approaches, coaching are primarily focused on performance within the current job and emphasize the development of skills. Mentoring is primarily focused on longer-term goals and on developing capability.
Concerned with task
Concerned with implications beyond the task
Focuses on skills and performances
Focuses on capability and potential
Primarily a line manager role
Works best off-line
Agenda set by or with the coach
Agenda set by the learner
Emphasizes feedback to the learner
Emphasizes feedback and reflection by the learner
Typically addresses a short-term need
Typically a longer-term relationship, often ‘for life'
Feedback and discussion primarily explicit
Feedback and discussion primarily about implicit, intuitive issues and behaviours
Getting the best from a mentoring scheme, then, involves building in the best aspects of both formal and informal approaches. A formal structure is essential because it provides meaning and direction for relationships and support where necessary. But, individual relationships will flourish best when allowed to operate as informally as possible. Successful formal relationships very frequently go on to become successful informal ones. There is also an increasing body of field evidence that the quality and extent of informal mentoring improves dramatically once a critical mass is achieved of people who have been effective mentors and mentees under formal arrangements. An organization that manages to create a mentoring/coaching culture can increasingly relax the level of formal intervention it imposes. What structures it does provide - in terms of educational materials and training, for example - become regarded as support mechanisms rather than as controls. Meetings between mentors to develop their skills can become informal, self-driven support networks. And the range of people from whom the mentees learn can gradually be extended as they learn to build and manage their own learning nets.
8. Easier recruitment and induction:
Mentoring cultivates in the mentee an increased sense of commitment and loyalty to the organization. The mentor is the mediator between the mentee and the company. Through close interaction with the mentee, the mentor creates a personal atmosphere in what might otherwise seem a faceless bureaucratic organization. The mentee receives through the mentor a positive perception of the company. The mentee can be made to feel that he or she is participating in the inner operations of the company, and this in turn generates a closer identification with the organization’s goals.
8.1 Improved employee motivation: Mentoring can help reduce managerial and professional turnover at other critical stages, too. Young, ambitious people often undergo a period of frustration and impatience when they realize their progress up the company career ladder is slower than they initially expected. If mentees have a mentor who is taking an active interest in their career and who explains the reasons for and ways round current blockages, they are more likely to persevere. The mentor helps them understand and recognize the long-term plans the company has for them, and helps the mentee make the most of the learning experiences inherent in the current job. In this way mentoring lessens the threat that other companies may lure away promising young employees with offers of speedier career advancement.
A mentoring relationship also motivates the middle and senior managers involved and can be a valuable means of delaying ‘plateauing'. A manager is less likely to retire mentally in the job if he or she is constantly faced with fresh challenges arising from a mentoring relationship. Mentors are forced to clarify and articulate their own ideas about the company's organization and goals in order to explain them to their mentees. They may feel they have to improve their own abilities to justify the mentees' respect.
8.2 The management of the corporate culture: Instead of preserving cultures, companies are desperately trying to change them. This poses a number of problems - not least that it makes it even more difficult to identify mentors with the ‘right' values. Mentor and mentee in an effective developmental relationship are able to explore the differences between espoused corporate values and actual behaviour. At the same time, the mentor helps to clarify in the mentee's mind which aspects of the culture are fixed and not open to challenge, and which are open for dialogue.
8.3 Succession planning: An increasingly common benefit reported by larger companies is an improvement in succession planning. Widespread mentoring, especially where the duration of formal relationships is limited to one or two years, ensures that senior managers are familiar with the strengths, weaknesses and ambitions of a relatively large pool of more junior talent.
8.4 Improved communications:  In a traditional senior to junior mentoring relationship, the mentee's unique position in the organization can aid informal communications because he or she straddles several levels. For example, through the relationship with the mentor the junior management mentee has access to and is accepted by middle management. At the same time he or she is accepted in the lower managerial levels. Because the mentee is familiar with the language and mannerisms of both, he or she can efficiently communicate each group's ideas and opinions to the other. Rich informal communication networks improve productivity and efficiency in a company since they lead to more action, more innovation, more learning, and swifter adjustment to changing business needs.
9. The 10 Competencies Needed For Effective Mentoring 
9.1 Self-awareness (understanding self): Mentors need high self-awareness in order to recognize and manage their own behaviours within the helping relationship and to use empathy appropriately. The activist, task-focused manager often has relatively little insight into these areas - indeed, he or she may actively avoid reflection on such issues, depicting them as ‘soft' and of low priority. Such attitudes and learned behaviours may be difficult to break. Providing managers with psychometric tests and other forms of insight-developing questionnaire can be useful if they are open to insights in those areas. However, it is easy to dismiss such feedback, even when it also comes from external sources, such as working colleagues. SWOT analysis would be an effective means to self understanding. If nothing else, the model helps open up some of the hidden boxes in the Johari Window! An important debate here is whether low self-awareness is the result of low motivation to explore the inner self (disinterest), or high motivation to avoid such exploration, or simply an inability to make complex emotional and rational connections (in which case there may be physiological aspects to consider as well). The approach in helping someone develop self-awareness will be different in each case and is likely to be least effective in bringing.

9.2 Behavioral awareness (understanding others):  Like self-awareness, understanding how others behave and why they do so is a classic component of emotional intelligence. To help others manage their relationships, the mentor must have reasonably good insight into patterns of behaviour between individuals and groups of people. Predicting the consequences of specific behaviours or courses of action is one of the many practical applications of this insight. Developing clearer insight into the behaviours of others comes from frequent observation and reflection. Supervision groups can help the mentor recognize common patterns of behavior by creating opportunities for rigorous analysis.

9.3 Business or professional savvy: There is not a great deal to be done here in the short term - there are very few shortcuts to experience and judgment. However, the facilitator can help the potential mentor understand the need for developing judgment and plan how to acquire relevant experience. Again, the art of purposeful reflection is a valuable support in building this competence. By reviewing the learning from a variety of experiences, the manager widens his or her range of templates and develops a sense of patterns in events. The more frequently he or she is able to combine stretching experience with focused reflection - either internally or in a dialogue with others - the more substantial and rapid the acquisition of judgment. A useful method of helping people develop business savvy is to create learning sets, where a skilled facilitator encourages people to share their experience and look for patterns.

9.4 Sense of proportion/good humor: Is good humor a competence? I would argue strongly that it is. Laughter, used appropriately, is invaluable in developing rapport, in helping people to see matters from a different perspective, in releasing emotional tension. It is also important that mentor and mentee should enjoy the sessions they have together. Enthusiasm is far more closely associated with learning than boredom is! In practice, good humor is a vehicle for achieving a sense of proportion - a broader perspective that places the organization’s goals and culture in the wider social and business context. People acquire this kind of perspective by ensuring that they balance their day-to-day involvement with work tasks against a portfolio of other interests. Some of these may be related to work - for example, developing a broader strategic understanding of how the business sector is evolving. Others are unrelated to work and may encompass science, philosophy or any other intellectually stimulating endeavor. In general, the broader the scope of knowledge and experience the mentor can apply the better sense of proportion he or she can bring.
9.5 Communication competence: Communication is not a single skill: it is a combination of a number of skills. Those most important for the mentor include:
·         Listening - opening the mind to what the other person is saying, demonstrating interest/attention, encouraging him or her to speak, holding back on filling the silences.
·         Observing as receiver - being open to the visual and other non-verbal signals, recognizing what is not said.
·         Parallel processing - analyzing what the other person is saying, reflecting on it, preparing responses; effective communicators do all of these in parallel, slowing down the dialogue as needed to ensure that they do not overemphasize preparing responses at the expense of analysis and reflection; equally, they avoid becoming so mired in their internal thoughts that they respond inadequately or too slowly.
·         Projecting - crafting words and their emotional ‘wrapping' in a manner appropriate for the situation and the recipient(s).
·         Observing as projector - being open to the visual and other non-verbal signals, as clues to what the recipient is hearing/understanding; adapting tone, volume, pace and language appropriately.
·         Exiting - concluding a dialogue or segment of dialogue with clarity and alignment of understanding (ensuring that the message has been received in both directions).
9.6 Conceptual modeling: Effective mentors have a portfolio of models they can draw upon to help mentees understand the issues they face. These models can be self-generated (e.g. the result of personal experience), drawn from elsewhere (e.g. models of company structure, interpersonal behaviours, strategic planning, career planning) or - at the highest level of competence - generated on the spot as an immediate response.
According to the situation and the learning styles of the mentee, it may be appropriate to present these models in verbal or visual form. Or the mentor may not present them at all - simply use them as the framework for asking penetrating questions. Developing the skills of conceptual modelling takes time, once again. It requires a lot of reading, often beyond the normal range of materials that cross the individual's desk. Training in presentation skills and how to design simple diagrams can also help. But the most effective way can be for the mentor to seize every opportunity to explain complex ideas in a variety of ways, experimenting to see what works with different audiences. Eventually, there develops an intuitive, instinctive understanding of how best to put across a new idea.
9.7 Commitment to one's own continued learning: Effective mentors become role models for self-managed learning. They seize opportunities to experiment and take part in new experiences. They read widely and are reasonably efficient at setting and following personal development plans. They actively seek and use behavioral feedback from others. These skills can be developed with practice. Again, having a role model to follow for themselves is a good starting-point.

9.8 Strong interest in developing others: Effective mentors have an innate interest in achieving through others and in helping others recognize and achieve their potential. This instinctive response is important in establishing and maintaining rapport and in enthusing the mentee, building confidence in what he or she could become. While it is possible to ‘switch on' someone to the self-advantage of helping others, it is probably not feasible to stimulate an altruistic response.

9.9 Building and maintaining rapport/relationship management: The skills of rapport-building are difficult to define. When asked to describe rapport in their experience, managers' observations can be distilled into five characteristics:
Trust - Will they do what they say? Will they keep confidences?
Focus - Are they concentrating on me? Are they listening without judging?
Empathy - Do they have goodwill towards me? Do they try to understand my feelings, and viewpoints?
Congruence - Do they acknowledge and accept my goals?
Empowerment - Is their help aimed at helping me stand on my own feet as soon as is practical?

To a considerable extent, the skills of building and maintaining rapport are contained in the other competencies already described. However, additional help in developing rapport- building skills may be provided through situational analysis - creating opportunities for the individual to explore with other people how and why he or she feels comfortable and uncomfortable with them in various circumstances. This kind of self-knowledge can be invaluable in developing more sensitive responses to other people's needs and emotions. The mentor can also be encouraged to think about the contextual factors in creating rapport. Avoiding meeting on the mentor's home ground (e.g. in his or her office) may be an obvious matter, but where would the mentee feel most comfortable? Sensitivity to how the meeting environment affects the mentoring dialogue can be developed simply by talking the issues through, both in formal or informal training and with the mentee.

9.10 Goal clarity: The mentor must be able to help the mentee sort out what he or she wants to achieve and why. This is quite hard to do if you do not have the skills to set and pursue clear goals of your own. Goal clarity appears to derive from a mixture of skills including systematic analysis and decisiveness. Like so many of the other mentoring competencies, it may best be developed through opportunities to reflect and to practice.

10. Mentors as Catalysts and Capacity Builders
10.1 The Mentor who encourages and Motivates: The ability to encourage and motivate is another important interpersonal skill that the mentor must have in abundance if the relationship with the mentee is to reach its full potential. The mentor must be able to recognize the ability of the mentee and make it clear to the mentee that he or she believes in the mentee's capacity to progress within the company. The mentor must be willing to let the mentee turn to him or her for as long as needed, as well as be willing to help the mentee eventually become independent.
The mentor encourages the mentee through recognizing the different roles he or she can play. For a certain period the mentor can be a reassuring parental figure to whom the mentee can turn for support and sympathy. The mentor must also at this stage be willing to let the mentee identify with him or her and use him or her as a role model. At other stages of the relationship, the mentor can encourage the mentee to become more independent and make individual decisions.
10.2 The mentor who nurtures: The mentor must be able to create an open, candid atmosphere that will encourage the mentee to confide in and trust him or her. The mentor is there to draw out the mentee and help discover his or her identity within the organization. With the help of the mentor, the mentee undertakes self-assessment and discovers where his or her skills, aspirations and interests lie. Most importantly, the mentor must be able to listen to the mentee and ask open-ended questions that will draw out the less experienced person.
10.3 The mentor who teaches: This is a skill that the mentor may need to be taught, because being a really good teacher does not come naturally to many people. Highly ambitious, self-motivated people (and the description applies to most people who make it to top management) often lack the patience to teach. Yet, the mentor must know how to help the mentee maximize his or her opportunities to learn. The mentor does this by creating a stimulating environment that consistently challenges the mentee to apply theory to the real world of management.
10.4 The mentor who offers mutual respect: An essential ingredient in any mentoring relationship is mutual respect between the two partners. If the mentee does not respect and trust his or her mentor's opinions, advice and influence - and vice versa - the benefits from the relationship will be severely limited. Programme co-ordinators must remember that a mentee's attitude towards the mentor is inevitably influenced by the mentor's general reputation within the company.  The emphasis on career outcomes expressed here has now generally been balanced by an equal or greater emphasis on the personal development outcomes, which may or may not have a direct impact on career achievement. Respect within developmental mentoring comes less from an appreciation of what the mentor can do for the mentee than from what he or she can help the mentee do on his or her own.

10.5 Measuring and monitoring the programme
·         Relationship processes - what happens in the relationship; for example, how often does the pair meet? Have they developed sufficient trust? Is there a clear sense of direction to the relationship? Does the mentor or the mentee have concerns about his or her own or the other person's contribution to the relationship?
·         Programme processes - for example, how many people attended training? How effective was the training? In some cases, programme processes will also include data derived from adding together measurements from individual relationships, to gain a broad picture of what is going well and less well.
·         Relationship outcomes - have mentor and mentee met the goals they set? (Some adjustment may be needed for legitimate changes in goals as circumstances evolve.)
·         Programme outcomes - for example, have we increased retention of key staff, or raised the competence of the mentees in critical areas?
Measuring all four gives you a balanced view of the mentoring programme and allows the scheme co-ordinator to intervene, with sensitivity, where needed. Mentors can redirect their energies into a stimulating and creative role. Mentoring demands a flexible and individual approach rather than applying habitual, well-used formulae. As a result, the mentor finds new self-respect as he or she recognizes he or she has valuable experiences and knowledge to pass on to the mentee. .
11. The Top 10 Qualities of an Inspiring Mentor Relationship

11.1. Mutual respect: The mentor and the learner share a deep respect for the common pursuit as well as for the underlying values driving the pursuit. It is the shared respect that connects and provides the foundation for the work the mentor and the learner will do together.

11.2. Trust: When a deep level of trust exists between the mentor and the learner, the individual is able to take great risks–-risks one might not have taken without the trust. The mutual trust between mentor and learner provides a safe space for the latter to step out in faith and achieve what might appear difficult, impossible, or overwhelming. The trust the mentor provides as part of the framework is fundamental for the learning experience to occur.

11.3. Mentor as a conduit: A mentor provides access to learning and growth. It is through the mentor relationship that deep learning occurs. The mentor provides a framework for exploration by creating a context that provides support, encouragement, and growth.

11.4. Space, learning and integration: A mentor creates a space for listening and for helping the person to integrate the learning into their lives. A mentor becomes like an "inner voice"– we borrow the mentor for this guiding voice while we search to find and express our own voice.

11.5. Safe space: Unconditional acceptance is a key ingredient for establishing trust and a safe space. When we experience unconditional acceptance and a sense of belonging, we are able to more clearly reveal and be ourselves. Accepting others for who they are, without apology or explanation, is therefore an essential aspect of mentoring. With total acceptance, one feels trusted and known, and is able to take great risks. In a safe space, nothing is taboo.

11.6. Vision: A mentor holds a vision of what's possible, and leads the way to the vision. A mentor believes in the vision as much as the learner does.

11.7. Shared experience: A mentor relationship is rich with learning through shared experiences. The learning's not just academic and has a vibrancy and depth that goes beyond reflective discussion. The mentor has discussions in "real time"- the interaction and the learning aren't just academic. They are deep and real.

11.8. Challenge: The mentor challenges and stretches the person, and provides inspiration for the person to take on even greater challenges. A mentor stretches a person from within.
11.9. Inspiration: A mentor "walks the talk" and provides inspiration through their very being. A mentor is someone who we aspire to become; the mentor has qualities/skills we want for ourselves. The mentor helps us to see possibility by bringing to life the qualities we aspire for ourselves.

11.10. Sage Advice: A mentor will offer sage advice, will show the learner "the ropes" and will invest time and energy in the development of the individual. The more open the learner is to accessing this wisdom, the more profound the discoveries will be!

How true, “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”-  John C. Crosby

12. Conclusion: Mentoring is an Essential Skill which Enhances Academic Leadership

There is a story of a ship builder, Marcus who was given a rough stone by his friend, Barnabas. Marcus examined the odd-looking red stone in his hand. “It’s a red-looking rock, Master.” Marcus placed the stone on the bench between them.
Barnabas then took out a cut and polished Ruby. He held it up to the light and let the sun sparkle through it, showing off the stone’s beauty. “This is one of the most magnificent stones in Athens.” He tossed it to Marcus who almost dropped the stone as it bounced off his hand and into his lap. Barnabas laughed and asked Marcus to explain both stones again. “What is the difference between the two stones, Marcus?”
“Well, one seems to be a red rock and the other an exceptional gem. One is available, the other is not, I guess.”
Barnabas replied, “On the contrary, son. The rough stone you so casually placed on the bench is soon to become the most valuable Ruby in all Greece. It is Ruby of the finest quality. All it lacks is to be in the hands of a master jeweler. Once he takes the rough edges off and applies some polish, the world will see how beautiful the stone can truly be.”
“People are the same as this rough stone, my friend. Put in the hands of a master, they too can become more than the eye can at first perceive. It takes the vision and the skill of a master leader to bring them to their full potential.”
“Look at the men on your crew. With your guiding hand, they can each become much more than the eye sees. It will take your hand to guide them and clip away the rough edges. Always see them as they will become, not as they are.” Focusing on what one could become, is mentoring.

“The best mentors are the people in your life who push you just a little bit outside your comfort zone” - Leigh Curl.  Mentoring is an essential leadership skill. In addition to managing and motivating people, it's also important that you can help others learn, grow and become more effective in their jobs. You can do this through a mentoring partnership, which you can arrange within your organization or through a personal or professional network. Becoming a Mentor can be a rewarding experience for any one, both personally and professionally. You can improve your leadership and communication skills, learn new perspectives and ways of thinking, advance your career, and gain a great sense of personal satisfaction. Soft skills when compliments hard skills, professional competence when compliments personal integrity, management of change compliments management of self, leadership becomes a source of transformation of self, society and institution/Company.  Such leadership thus creates, leaders and not followers, which is the prime purpose of visionary leadership. Academic leadership has to focus on mentoring teachers as well as students. If it is done with passion and enthusiasm to awaken the sleeping giant in each one of them, then there would be many more success stories. We need to help each other to discover for themselves their own capabilities and help them to bloom where they are planted. We need to change from looking at everyone as potential threat to potential contributor; from general categorization of people to personal attention to their unique contribution, assessing their talents and willingness to learn. A paradigm shift is needed in capacity building to enhance productivity and personal and professional fulfillment.

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