Whitnie Low Narcisse, who leads all of First Round’s advisory programs and more, launched its Mentorship Program in 2016. It was up to her to diagnose why mentorship usually goes sideways and design something different. After several successful matching rounds, and hoping to get even better, she wanted to understand what distinguished the most successful mentor-mentee pairs from the pack. What did they have in common? Many people said the experience had changed their careers. What was that secret sauce? So, Narcisse asked the best mentors. A lot of them. And we’ve distilled the key lessons they shared for you here. Whether you’re creating a mentorship program for your company, looking for a mentor to help you think through challenges, or hoping to make a bigger impact as a mentor yourself, this article is for you. Mentorship can be an incredible career accelerator — here’s how to actually make it work.