Skill development can be like a dog chasing his tail–there is a sense of efficiency from the point of view of the dog but the observer sees otherwise. If you are a young leader then there is a good chance you have not yet discovered your strongest skill/ability; you could be sharpening an axe that is really a kitchen knife.
Two mentors are ideal: one that is your peer in age but ahead of you either in their career path or gift development, and one that is at least 10 years ahead in the same area. By pursuing the peer-mentor you will see what you can do RIGHT NOW to grow, with the senior mentor you can see whether or not the track you are currently on is one worth investing another ten years.
At two different points by engaging a senior mentor I realized that my current career role was not as much of a fit as I thought. Especially when I learned what sort of developmental activities were required to continue to develop along that path.
It is easier to pursue skills.
Reading a book, taking a class, listening to a podcast are low friction activities. But they produce incremental results that rarely take you to the “next level” in your development. I’ve found two or three significant interactions with a mentor can provide but vision and action steps to grow significantly.
Here’s a list of links related to finding a mentor from Inc Magazine to get you started or share with someone that could benefit from a mentor. Click here to read it.