Joe KeefeMentoring has received a lot of attention in the corporate sector of late, and most have a pretty clear idea of what it entails – lending a hand, offering advice and encouragement, and helping others to learn from your mistakes.

But for Joe Keefe, president and CEO of Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Pax World Management and Pax Ellevate Management, nurturing isn’t nearly as effective as casting a critical eye.

“I like the idea of mentoring, but I have a somewhat contrarian view of the process. I always say that you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes, because when you have success, you don’t take a step back and think ‘Why?’ But when you make a mistake, failure is a great teacher.  For that reason, I think negative mentoring – identifying people’s leadership problems and challenges – can often be more valuable.”

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