The Role of a Mentor
Christie Maria James
MENTORING 2.0: A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO CHANGING LIVES by Sunil Unny Guptan Sage Publications, 2018, 256 pp., 450
December 2019, volume 43, No 12

Christie Maria James
By Sunil Unny Guptan
Sage Publications, 2018, pp. 256, R450.00

Sunil Unny Guptan writes extensively about a topic that probably has not been explored much or has been written down in the form of short articles till now. The book begins with a foreword by C  Parthasarathy, Chairman and MD, Karvy Group, who recalls his interactions with Dr. Sunil Guptan, his mentor, with utmost fondness. The author keeps the readers engaged by narrating the story of ‘Mentor’—the son of Heracles and Asopis in  Greek mythology. He beautifully captures the story of Mentor and how this word went on to gain the meaning it has now.

Delving deeper in the book Mentoring 2.0, one would be definitely reminded of one’s mentors. This book will also make the readers question—both mentors and mentees—about their role in each other’s lives and the impact they probably had on each other. Detailing out every aspect of how a good mentor is and should be, Guptan ensures that he doesn’t forget the fact that mentors are also capable of making mistakes. Interestingly, under the subheading ‘Toxic Mentorship’, he talks about how some mentors who might have ‘resigned themselves to lesser position and fostering whatever level of benefits and good that they may be able to accrue to their mentees from their positions.’ This almost seems like a fair warning to mentees to identify such toxic mentors and not to keep them on a pedestal. The reader will also be met with a set of questions prodding them to re-think and assess if the mentors in their life truly match the definition of the same.

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