What's Lion King got to do with Career Planning & Mentoring?
Source: Soumen Chatterjee
The Lion King went on to become one of most loved and the best animated movie of our times. We love it for its animation, music and the story, but is there more to it?
Well, I think so. We can take a few cues about Career Mentoring from the movie.
Throughout the movie, we see Simba had Mufasa as his Mentor. I am hand-picking three snippets from the movie and correlating them here with examples and anecdotes.
Snippet #1: In his early childhood, Simba learnt tangible skills from Mufasa like how to pounce. I call it ‘learning the ropes’.
A Mentor can tell you the tricks of the trade, early on in your career. A Mentor can tell you what skills you should pick up and form a solid foundation for your career. You can plan to acquire and hone these skills, and have them ready when you need them the most.
Snippet #2: Simba also gets a philosophical byte from his Mentor Mufasa, when he ventures into the forbidden elephant graveyard. After he is rescued by Mufasa, he is told ‘being brave doesn’t mean you have to go looking for trouble’. I call it ‘getting exposed’ when you are not yet ready for the challenges.
One of the organizations I worked for was going through a wave of tremendous growth. It expanded into new lines of businesses, new territories and constantly needed new people to manage these businesses and territories. So it got into a process of building Inventory Leadership. There were people who got promotions back-to-back, year-on-year and because they didn’t have the requisite skills for the next level of responsibility, they ‘got exposed’. With Mentoring & Career Planning in place, a great Mentor would have shared insights and saved a lot of people from these utter failures.
Snippet #3: Simba who is all grown-up and has gone away from the Pride Lands, is taken to the pond by the mandrill Rafiki where he sees a reflection of Mufasa. Mufasa reminds Simba, “Remember who you are”. This is perhaps the most profound Mentoring take-away from the movie.
A Mentor is someone who will remind you of your strengths, your passion and your true place in the Sun. Along with you, he can put in place a Career Plan which can guide you on your career journey and can be especially helpful when you have deviated in the course of your career. You can also refer to the Career Plan when deciding on what assessments to take, which training programs to undergo and what skills to acquire, when thinking of your next career move. The Career Plan can also be reviewed and dynamically change as new career opportunities emerge and the business landscape changes.
I may have stretched my argument a tad too far but it looked seemed right when I looked at it from a Mentoring perspective. Happy to hear your thoughts on the same.
To up-skill your self and creating your employment opportunities, visit and get registered www.skill.jobs