Be the Hen — A Metaphor for Mentors

For quite sometime I was trying to find an appropriate ‘metaphor’ for ‘mentoring’ till I found the cock, hen and a chick foraging for food at the backyard of a common marketplace.

The picture immediately struck me as the perfect ‘metaphor’ I was in search of.

The cock is busy pecking the ground for his own food and is quite unmindful of what is going around him; much less others.

But then I see the hen feeding herself in a very mindful manner. She is not only finds food for herself but also periodically scratches the ground to turn up food for her chick to feed on. Thereby she is busy creating opportunities for herself and others.

She was acting like all mentors do. Mentors are busy with their work in such a manner that it creates opportunities for others under their wings to learn, feed upon and grow.

Bosses are like the cock — always busy with themselves.

Mentors are like the hen — also very busy with themselves but with an eye for others too!


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