Here's the question:

  • How can I maximize a mentor relationship when the mentor is your boss' boss?

Our division president, my boss' boss, advised that he would like to mentor me and I was advised not to turn down his offer. I really appreciate the time he has allocated towards my career development. He insists that we meet on a monthly basis and discuss whatever I want to discuss. 

I feel I have to limit our discussion topics because I don't want to contradict anything my boss has said to our president. Moreover, our president keeps asking me if my boss and I are getting along. I always state things are going well, even though they are not, because I don't want to commite career suicide by complaining about my boss behind his back.


  • Our president placed my boss in his current Vice President position. I later found out that I was in the mix for the position and that half of the executive committee making the final selection wanted me in the VP position rather than my boss. Our president selected my boss over me. I've only been in my position for 18 months and understood his decision.
  • Based on this situation I belive my president fears me leaving the organization. I have no plans to make such a move.
jhack's picture

Why not simply ask your mentor if your assumptions are true?  Maybe there is another role they're grooming you for.  Maybe your boss is the one who is at risk to leave.  

Is there something here that's more "dangerous" than it seems on reading your post? 

John Hack