14 Books To Help You Run A Successful Mentoring Program [Plus 10 Other Resources]

Here are over a dozen books and resources on mentoring that unpack the opportunities and practical advice for mentors, mentees, and leaders launching mentoring programs.

Noah Edis

Published on 

January 30, 2023

Updated on 

Time to Read

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Mentoring programs are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace, with organizations of all sizes recognizing the value of investing in their employees. 79% of millennials consider mentoring crucial to their career success, so maximizing it through learning can attract quality candidates.

Finding the right book to enhance a mentoring program is not always an easy task, however – but there are ways to make the search easier (like using this guide, for instance). Along with this, reviews from customers and recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues can point readers in the right direction.

Mentor books cover a range of topics, from seeking inspiration to discussing the process of finding mentors and mentees alike, how to engage participants, planning activities, and evaluating the program's success. Whether you're just starting out with a mentoring program or looking to improve an existing one, there is plenty of guidance available in these books.

When done correctly, mentoring can provide long-term benefits for both individuals and businesses alike. 

Here are some of the best mentoring books available to optimize the professional development journey through mentoring. 

Where to start if you want to learn about mentorship

There is no better place to start a mentorship program than understanding the basics of what it is and how it can benefit everyone involved.

Whether you plan to start a mentoring program or simply wish to improve your mentoring skills, books, blogs, newsletters, and podcasts can provide invaluable insights. You can learn how to create meaningful relationships with your mentees and vice versa while providing guidance and support with the right resources in hand.

To get started, these reliable resources can help you gain an understanding of how mentorship works, regardless of your role within the program.

Where to start as a mentor or mentee

Mentorship is a key component of personal and professional growth in the workplace. Whether you are looking to mentor someone or be mentored, the resources below can provide valuable guidance on where to begin.

  1. Mentor and Mentee: Roles and Expectations - This blog outlines the roles and responsibilities of both sides in a mentorship relationship, explains why this is important in the workplace, and provides expectations for each participant to take into account for success.
  2. How to Build a Successful Mentor Relationship - In this article, we examine the different forms in which mentoring relationships can exist, a concrete example of a successful mentor-mentee relationship, and tips for its establishment.
  3. The Mentor That Matters: Stories of Transformational Teachers, Role Models and Heroes, Volume 1 - This compilation of thought-provoking essays offers insights from a variety of people, including both famous figures and everyday citizens. The writing ranges from joyful to intense while covering a broad selection of topics such as academia, art, commerce and promotion, medicine, charity work, science, and more. Every author has their own distinct story that is captivatingly personal.
  4. Business Coaching and Mentoring For Dummies Cheat Sheet - To ensure that all aspects of your practice progress, you should approach coaching and mentoring sessions on an equal footing. It is vital to have a clear beginning, middle, and end to your meetings. Utilize this cheat sheet to make sure you and the mentees are getting the most out of every session.

Where to start as a mentorship program manager

As a mentorship program manager, understanding the best practices for managing successful mentoring initiatives is essential. Here are some resources to keep you informed.

  1. Creating a Mentoring Culture: The Organization's Guide - Lois J. Zachary's bestselling book provides guidance and advice on how to implement mentoring within an organization and includes usable forms, tools, and stories to help accomplish this goal. This resource is a must for anybody wanting to foster mentorship among employees at all levels of their business. Our summary of mentoring cultures  is a great place to start.
  2. Running mentoring programs in the workplace [best practices and success stories] - Discover 16 verified effective strategies for successful work-based mentoring initiatives. It also contains illustrations of various mentoring programs and input from program administrators who have achieved success in their field.
  3. What First-Time Mentorship Program Managers Need to Know to be Successful - In this video, two experts in the mentorship field, Jodi Petersen and Mary Schlegel of MentorStrat consulting and training firm, team up with Together to offer advice for those who are just starting out with a mentorship program. Their discussion focuses on how such a venture can be successfully launched and run.
  4. How To Start A Mentoring Program - This e-book guide provides a comprehensive overview of the mentorship program at all levels, from registration to pairing to reporting, along with setting goals and providing some concrete examples. 

With the resources provided across a variety of platforms, you can choose the right one that suits your preference for understanding the basics of running a successful mentoring program.

Best books and resources for leaders who want to be great mentors

Leaders are essential to an organization's success, and many leaders look to mentors for guidance. Having a great mentor can be invaluable in helping you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become a successful leader.

By reading these mentor books and resources, you can gain valuable insight into what makes a capable mentor, learn practical tips for developing meaningful relationships with your mentees, and discover strategies for creating lasting value through the power of mentorship.

  1. The Talent Code: Greatness isn't born. It's grown - In Daniel Coyle's book, those seeking to reach their potential and help others do the same will find useful advice. Mentors striving to bring out the best in their mentees should particularly benefit from this read, as it delves into three key components for success: deep practice, ignition, and master coaching.
  2. Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women - It is becoming increasingly popular for young and new professionals to seek out mentors, with the effects of mentorship being long-lasting. Organizations that nurture both their female and male employees are more likely to succeed. Mentoring relationships have existed for centuries, but W. Brad Johnson and David Smith explore how the mentorship playing field can be uneven for women in their book. They give guidance to men on how they can mentor women effectively, as well as showcase the advantages such a connection could offer females in the workplace. We interviewed W Brad Johnson on how to run mentorship programs that break the glass ceiling. It’s a great resource for leaders.
  3. Coaching and Mentoring for Work-Life Balance - Mentors can offer mentees support to manage the difficulties of work-life balance in our interconnected world. Strategies such as talking about how different elements of life are connected, along with research and practice-based tools, can help both mentors and mentees.
  4. Mastering Mentoring and Coaching with Emotional Intelligence: Increase Your Job EQ - Patrick Merlevede and Denis Briodoux have compiled a range of material that provides readers with an understanding of the core components of mentoring. Furthermore, it evaluates the commonalities and disparities between coaching and mentoring. Additionally, there are hints and activities to guide mentors in forming a plan to employ their emotional intelligence when mentoring.
  5. Mentor Handbook - This guide is designed to provide you with all the information and advice necessary for developing a successful mentoring relationship. It's simple to read but also offers detailed insight into each topic if desired. Moreover, at the conclusion of each part, there is an additional reading list that can be consulted in order to expand your knowledge even further.
  6. A Critical Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring: Debates, Dialogues and Discourses - This book, written by a team of experienced and multidisciplinary experts, David E. Gray, Robert Garvey, and David A Lane, is the go-to introduction to coaching and mentoring. With case studies activities throughout the text as well as further questions posed in order to encourage critical reflection on the part of readers/practitioners, this book is an ideal and comprehensive resource for students studying coaching and mentoring, as well as professionals hoping to incorporate these practices into their organizations.

Leaders who want to be great mentors must equip themselves with the right tools in order to best guide their mentees. 

Mentorship comes in many types, so if you want to gain greater insight into mentoring that fits you best and receive useful tips on how to maximize its success, there is a book out there that can help. 

Best books and resources for mentees who want to grow

Growth is the key to success in life. Mentees need guidance, support, and resources to be able to grow into capable individuals. 

The best mentoring books and resources for mentees should provide practical advice on how they can develop themselves as well as insights into why certain behaviors are beneficial or detrimental. Below are some recommended reads.

  1. One Minute Mentoring: How to Find and Work With a Mentor–And Why You’ll Benefit from Being One by Ken Blanchard and Claire Diaz-Ortiz - An insightful guide that examines mentoring from both mentor and mentee perspectives, showing how intergenerational mentoring can benefit individuals and companies alike, as well as explaining why communication is imperative to these relationships. The book contains clear instructions on how to find a mentor, set up meetings and objectives, build trust, engage with each other, and network. 
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People - This book by Dale Carnegie, one of the best-selling books of all time, is a masterclass on how to obtain anything you want in today's more competitive and demanding business environment. It offers tips on becoming a better mentor or mentee by commanding attention through your words and actions, being easy to like, making others receptive to feedback, and fostering productive teams.
  3. Mentee Handbook - This guide is designed to provide mentees with all the resources they need to be successful in their mentoring relationship. It includes useful tips, guidance, and additional reading material for each topic. With this handbook, you'll have all the tools needed to grow with your mentor as well as gain a deeper understanding of different areas of your role if desired.
  4. What Makes an Effective Executive - For more than sixty-five years, Peter F. Drucker has been considered the go-to authority for modern management. In this Harvard Business Review Classic, the author identifies eight practices that can make any executive successful: asking “What needs to be done?” and “What is right for the enterprise?” developing action plans, taking responsibility for decisions and communication, focusing on opportunities instead of issues, running productive meetings and using "we" instead of “I” when talking about work objectives.
  5. A Mind for Business: Get Inside Your Head to Transform How You Work - Utilizing the most cutting-edge and informed advice from psychology and neuroscience, you can become a more resourceful thinker with an acutely sharp business intellect. Combining modern science knowledge with experienced, motivating guidance will get you thinking of inventive ways to make use of your entire brain in order to work smarter, excel during times of difficulty, make sound decisions, amplify creativity and enhance your business skill set to unparalleled heights. 

With the many great books and resources available to mentees, the key is to find the ones that best fit one’s individual needs and preferences. 

By reading a variety of books, listening to podcasts, attending workshops, taking classes, and engaging in self-reflection activities such as journaling, mentees can gain the knowledge they need to build their skillset and reach their goals. 

Best books and resources for launching mentoring programs

While launching a mentoring program may seem like an arduous undertaking, there are numerous resources available to help you get started. Explore some of the best mentoring books and resources for launching mentoring programs with tips on how to select the right ones for your organization or individual needs.

  1. 5 ways to structure your workplace mentoring program - Before launching a mentoring initiative, figure out which design will get the best results. This guidebook is packed with suggestions for structuring your program. If you're thinking about starting a mentoring program, then this e-book is an invaluable resource.
  2. What Separates Successful Mentoring Programs From Those That Flop? - In this insightful interview, Matthew Reeves, CEO of Together, has an in-depth conversation with Dr. Wendy Axelrod, an Executive Coach, HR Executive, author, and speaker who is also considered to be a "Mentorship Guru" for her success in launching a mentoring program for HR professionals in Philadelphia since 2002. The two discuss the content of Dr. Axelrod's latest book, “10 Steps to Successful Mentoring,” and explore what factors contribute to successful mentorship programs versus those that fail.
  3. 6 Models for mentorship - There are various ways to pair employees together in a mentoring program. This cheat sheet lays out different models and explains when each one should be implemented. Uncover alternative methods of connecting mentors and mentees and learn the most appropriate time for each pairing model.
  4. Mentoring Programs That Work - Jenn Labin, with her wealth of experience in program development, has seen many unsuccessful programs that relied on traditional training methods instead of understanding the unique process needed for developing a mentoring program. If you are aiming to attract and retain millennials or increase commitment within the company, implementing a well-thought-out mentoring initiative can help reach those objectives.
  5. Designing Workplace Mentoring Programs: An Evidence-Based Approach - This book provides a research-informed, optimal route to setting up and running formal mentoring programs in organizations. It contains useful tools and documents like training activities, employee development plans, and mentor agreements that organizations can make use of. Case studies from organizations with successful mentoring projects are featured, demonstrating various key principles as well as offering contemporary methods for best practice.

Launching a successful mentoring program requires careful planning, implementation, and maintenance. By utilizing the best books and resources available on the topic of starting a mentoring program, organizations can ensure they are creating an effective, efficient and impactful system.

Bottom line

If you're in search of information on mentoring, there's a book out there that can meet your needs—whether it be more theoretical knowledge or practical tips for creating a successful mentorship scheme. Reading up on the fundamentals of mentoring will help anyone wanting to develop an effective workplace program.

It should be noted, however, that while the best mentoring books are undeniably invaluable, nothing can replace the experience of being a part of a mentoring relationship in person. If you are a potential mentor or mentee, get things moving by starting a connection. 

As a manager responsible for setting up a mentorship program, our mentoring platform is ideal for maximizing results. With Together, you will have access to easy setup options, metrics integration, and mentor tracking options that will guarantee the success of all mentoring relationships.

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