Lesson In Mentorship: Vision

It was around 2011. I lived at Magodo, Lagos during that period. I received a call from my mentor one evening. He asked if I knew a village called Siun on the way to Abeokuta in Ogun State.
I wasn’t sure but I knew I couldn’t miss it since it was after Sagamu Interchange. I jumped into my car and drove off. There was no time to waste. By experience, I knew if my mentor calls like that, there must be a learning moment.
I got to the village and saw his vehicle where I was parked. He was holding a meeting with some people. He beckoned at me to sit beside him while I listened to his conversation. After the meeting, he asked me to ride with him. I parked my car and hopped into his.
He linked up to the main Abeokuta Expressway and drove towards Sagamu. He parked at a spot and we both came down. He asked me to look around. I didn’t understand what he was driving at but I observed very closely.
It was then he explained that the Sagamu-Abeokuta inward road would witness an explosion very soon. I listened as he spoke about that stretch of the road benefitting from the works on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
He also said there was a plan to dualize the Siun Abeokuta-Sagamu corridor and that will ultimately impact real estate along that stretch. “You need to position yourself”, he told me. He asked me to buy land in that area.
Sincerely, I couldn’t see what he was saying. Everywhere was thick bush. It was only one company I saw that time trying to set up a factory. It was later I knew it was a major FMCG setting up shop on that corridor.
As we drove back towards Siun, he kept on expounding on how he believes that location would change significantly in less than 10 years. I felt 10 years was a long time. He dropped me where I parked my car and bid me bye. He headed towards Abeokuta while I left for Lagos.
About two weeks ago, I passed through that 42km corridor (Sagamu to Abeokuta is 42km) and I recalled the conversation I had with him about 10 years ago. The ten years that looked so far away then is now here.
I saw the different factories on that road. I observed the ongoing road expansion works coming from Abeokuta. That area represents an overflow of Lagos into Ogun State. It is now an emerging investment hub.
One of the qualities of a good mentor is vision. A mentor is able to see opportunities and help the mentee see them also. They help you see tomorrow today. They help you to see far. They help you to see what others cannot see. They help you see beyond others.
Vision is a combination of 3 things: Insight, Foresight and Hindsight.


They have a deep and accurate understanding of the subject matter. Sometimes, you could almost say they have the power of intuition. Intuition comes from a place of experience.
That is why when they have a hunch or gut feeling about someone or something, they’re almost always right.
In other words, insight is looking inward.

They are able to predict a future occurrence before it happens. Consequently, they are able to move before others- call that the first mover’s advantage. Consequently, they can plan better. In other words, foresight is looking ahead.
According to John C. Maxwell, “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”

They are able to look at past occurrences with a view to learning from them in order to do better in future. In other words, hindsight is looking backwards.
A mentor with vision is therefore able to look inward, look ahead and look back.
Mentors won’t force the opportunities on you as they don’t want to create you in their own image or likeness. Good mentors will still want you to be you and not them. You’re not supposed to be a clone of your mentor.
There are two major types of opportunities mentors will reveal to you:

1.Opportunities Inside You

A mentor shows you your real self. He/she helps you sharpen your self-worth. He helps you develop your skills and talents.
He shares his experience with you so you can understand that you’re capable of more. He gives you that gentle nudge and push.
2.Opportunities Around You

That was what mentor did that evening. This is true especially if the mentor is a business mentor. Those with a heightened sense of business can predict the direction of the sector.
Some of them have insider information and they may drop snippets for you. You’ll do well to listen to them.
While a mentor shows you the possibilities and opportunities , the real hard work of getting there is yours. You can’t outsource the work to them. Get your nose to the grindstone- and work!

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