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Mentorship culture amongst gentlemen

Mentorship among men, especially for personal development and social graces, is declining. The author highlights the benefits of mentorship and calls for a return to this tradition within communities like the Gentleman's Code.

Article contribution by Nazirul Ridzuan

Picture: © Suits (2011-2019), USA Network


Mentorship is the practice of older, experienced individuals taking on the role of mentors within specific communities or social circles to guide and support younger individuals in various aspects of life, such as personal development, business endeavour, career advancement, and social etiquette.

Mentorship culture among gentlemen is almost non-existent today, although some exists in business and corporate life. I wonder why experienced people lack the confidence to take on the mantle, and why the younger generations are too proud to reach out as mentees.

Personally, I enjoy seeking mentors in many aspects of life and strive to become one. However, I have high expectations and would employ my keen observation before accepting someone to be my mentor. Once identified, I would contact them and ask for a mentorship opportunity, then devote my time and attention to shadowing them.

In my life, the first and most obvious example would be my own father, who instilled in me the value of family relationships, leadership abilities (the rite of passage as the eldest), and character building. During my tertiary studies, one senior student served as my academic role model. It helped me excel in my academics, earning the dean's list honour for the majority of the semesters.

© Billions (2016-2023), Showtime

Professionally, it took me nearly a decade to find the proper mentor, and I've worked with several female leaders throughout my career. To be honest, it was difficult at first, but to my amazement, I have improved well beyond my expectations. In my opinion, gender is irrelevant when seeking mentorship opportunities. Currently, my mentor is a talented woman who has risen through the corporate ranks with outstanding skill and determination. I hope to follow in her footsteps in the corporate world.

Social and networking mentors are the most recent additions to my goal. Throughout my journey with the Gentleman's Code community, I can state that there are gentlemen here that would be an excellent mentor for the future generations who strive to acquire exposure in all aspects of being a gentleman in Malaysia i.e. lifestyle, fashion, wealth, sports and etiquette. Having another gentleman as your mentor would accelerate your progress towards being a gentleman yourself. As a result, you may become a mentor to another eager young gentlemen in the future.

© Mad Men (2007-2015), AMC

Here's how I would break down the key components of mentorship culture amongst gentlemen:

Tradition and Values

Historically, many societies have valued mentorship, especially among men. In these cultures, there is often a strong emphasis on passing down knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next. This tradition is rooted in the belief that individuals benefit from the guidance of those who have more experience and wisdom.

Role Modeling

Mentors in this context often serve as role models, embodying qualities such as integrity, respect, responsibility, and resilience. Through their actions and behavior, they demonstrate how to navigate challenges and achieve success while upholding important values.

Personal Development

Mentorship among gentlemen typically focuses on holistic personal development. Mentors may provide guidance on self-improvement, goal-setting, decision-making, and managing relationships. They help mentees identify their strengths and weaknesses, explore their passions, and develop strategies for growth.

Career Advancement

Within professional settings, mentorship plays a crucial role in career advancement. Mentors can offer valuable insights into navigating the workplace, making strategic career choices, and building professional networks. They may also provide guidance on acquiring new skills, handling challenges, and seizing opportunities for advancement.

Etiquette and Conduct

In some cases, mentorship among gentlemen includes instruction in social etiquette and conduct. This aspect of mentorship focuses on teaching proper manners, communication skills, and social norms. Mentors may impart knowledge on how to conduct oneself in formal settings, interact with others respectfully, and project confidence and professionalism.

Networking and Connections

Mentors often leverage their own networks and connections to benefit their mentees. They may facilitate introductions to influential individuals, recommend mentees for opportunities, and provide access to resources that can further their personal and professional development.

Long-Term Relationship

Mentorship among gentlemen is typically characterized by a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. Mentors invest time and effort in supporting their mentees over an extended period, offering guidance, encouragement, and feedback as needed. In return, mentees demonstrate dedication, respect, and gratitude for their mentor's assistance.

In conclusion, mentorship culture amongst gentlemen would foster a sense of camaraderie, mutual respect, and support within communities. It empowers individuals to reach their full potential, navigate challenges with confidence, and contribute positively to society.

I am a firm believer of the saying, “If you wish to go fast, go alone. But if you wish to go far, go together.”


Nazirul Ridzuan

I had just finished my tertiary education and was about to embark on a career in the financial industry when these exact words spoken by Harry “Galahad” Hart in Kingsman (2014), hit me with an epiphany. I have always find solitude in writing, most of the time privately, and when crafting assiduous captions on social media. Writing helps stimulate creative thinking and develop the ability to express myself effectively.

Currently, I am enjoying my endeavor at a fund management company in Kuala Lumpur, and having accumulated experience in project management and strategy. Outside my corporate journey, I am an agropreneur specializing in cultivation of the “King of Fruits”.

I aspire to become a CFA charterholder and a business leader. My passion includes networking, travelling, stoicism and lifelong learning.

Instagram: @nzrlrdzn

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