Starting Strong: A Mentoring Fable

by Lois J. Zachary and Lory Fischler

A hands-on and usable guide to making the first 90 days of your mentoring relationship a success

In Starting Strong, mentoring experts Lois J. Zachary and Lory A. Fischler weave a compelling tale that exemplifies the concepts, highlights the dynamics, and outlines the issues involved in mentoring relationships. The authors use the form of a fable to tell the story of a budding mentoring relationship filled with possibilities, problems, and triumphs. The story of Cynthia, a seasoned professional, and her new mentee Rafa, brings to life Zachary and Fischler’s wealth of mentoring suggestions and best practices and each episode of the fable is accompanied by reflection questions, key learnings, and strategies that readers can apply to their own mentoring relationships. The authors include a conversation playbook that guides mentors and mentees through six essential conversations that will help them establish a strong mentoring connection, and keep it moving forward.

As organizations face the transition of departing Boomers and arriving Millennials, Starting Strong offers a hands-on and readable guide to create effective mentoring relationships that will ensure the success of that transition. The book:

  • Covers the key components of a successful mentoring relationship including building trust, establishing a comfort zone (and then having the courage to leave it), holding productive meetings, dealing with power dynamics, setting goals, and keeping momentum going
  • Shows how to avoid common pitfalls and overcome mentoring obstacles
  • Applies to any organizational or institutional setting

Starting Strong is more than an engaging story of mentorship, it’s a vital resource for understanding how to implement and sustain a meaningful mentoring relationship.

Audio Excerpt:

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Starting Strong: A Mentoring Fable

The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships, 2nd Edition

by Lois J. Zachary

Thoughtful and rich with advice, The Mentor’s Guide explores the critical process of mentoring and presents practical tools for facilitating the experience from beginning to end. Now managers, teachers, and leaders from any career, professional, or educational setting can successfully navigate the learning journey by using the hands-on worksheets and exercises in this unique resource.

The new edition of this best-selling volume includes expanded coverage of:

  • Coaching as distinct from and similar to mentoring
  • Diversity and cultural differences between mentors and mentees
  • Mentoring at a distance, especially online
  • Connections to author’s companion volumes, Creating a Mentoring Culture and The Mentee’s Guide

Available at
The Mentor's Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships

Creating a Mentoring Culture: The Organization’s Guide

by Lois J. Zachary

From the author of the best-selling The Mentor ‘s Guide comes the next-step mentoring resource to ensure personnel at all levels of an organization will teach and learn from each other. Written for anyone who wants to embed mentoring within their organization, Creating a Mentoring Culture is filled with step-by-step guidance, practical advice, engaging stories, and includes a wealth of reproducible forms and tools.

“This is a must-read for anyone seeking a rich understanding of how the spirit of mentoring can be truly integrated into an organization. I know of nothing like this book on the market. Zachary has scored another first!”
— Laurent A. Parks Daloz, Associate Director and Faculty, Whidbey Institute

Available at
Creating a Mentoring Culture: The Organization's Guide

The Mentee’s Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You

by Lois Zachary with Lory Fischler

This volume offers a companion guide to the best-selling book The Mentor’s Guide. This practical book offers ideas and suggestions for making the most of a mentoring opportunity for the person being mentored.. The authors take the reader through the four phases of the mentoring process and offer advice on how to get the relationship started, establish agreements, sustain the relationship and bring it to closure. This is a valuable resource for any mentee whether in the nonprofit, corporate, or government sector.

“The Mentee’s Guide inspires and guides the potential mentee, provides new insights for the adventure in learning that lies ahead and underscores my personal belief and experience that mentoring is circular. Lois Zachary’s new book is a great gift.”
— Frances Hesselbein, Chairman and Founding President, Leader to Leader Institute

Available at

The Mentee's Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You