Consultants bring specialty expertise that a company needs but doesn’t have (enough of) within their own team. They are typically used to execute a well-defined project and deliver the results to the company. When a consultant leaves, the value they have delivered stays with the company but the expertise leaves.
Coaches bring out the best in us at an individual level. They are typically used when we want to improve our ability in a specific skill or capability such as public speaking, leadership or fitness. When a coach leaves, the individual’s level of expertise is changed – hopefully for the better.
Mentoring is a two-way street.
Mentors are role models, individuals who have done what we aspire to do. They’ve made the mistakes we are about to make, they have lived through the failures we are about to experience and they have succeeded in areas that we value and are striving to succeed in. We seek out mentors when we are looking for major breakthroughs, quantum changes in business and in life. The value exchange between a mentor and mentee is two-way, both are enriched by the experience – a mentor doesn’t leave. Typically, a mentor and mentee maintain their professional connection long after the official working relationship ends.