2. C-Suite

Dear Reader,

Ø Are you at a point where you think you really need a mentor.

o You have a great staff, accountant, lawyer, and banker, but none of them has any experience as an entrepreneur.

o Though they help to balance your ambition and keep you grounded in reality, you need something more. For e.g. Your company is about 10 years old, with just over $2 million in sales and a staff of about 25. You are hoping you’ll make the Inc. 500 this year.

Ø It would be great to have a C-suite Mentor you could turn to for guidance. o Besides not knowing how to find one, you’re unsure how these relationships typically work. o Do people pay mentors, give them bonuses based on performance, or seek advice purely on goodwill?

Ø And what expectations should you have for a mentor? This is what I do: I treat Mentoring as my personal CSR. My personal Giving back to the Society which helped me to come up this far. From humble beginnings, studying with the help of Educational Freeship by charitable people, Merit and Merit cum poverty scholarships; to allowing me to work and earn while keeping my focus on learning, (Child labor was not a bad thing in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s) by doing part-time jobs, I feel that I owe it to Society and do something. Mentoring is a subject close to my heart.

I had some great mentors early in my career, and in recent past, I’ve been devoting well over half of my time to mentoring others. First, I think you should never have to pay a mentor. An adviser who asks to be paid is not a mentor. He or she is a consultant, and the relationship is a commercial one. ( I don’t indulge in Independent Consulting. Thus C-Suite Mentoring is different from my Advising, Directing and Educating.)

To me, the mentoring relationship is based strictly on mutual respect. As a mentor, I am motivated by nothing more than the desire to help. The person receiving the mentoring should be there to learn from my experience and advice.

While learning to be an Executive Coach, I learnt from my Coaches:

a. Some People would be Un-Coachable not because of them, because of ME. Leave them ASAP.

b. As a Coach Reveal yourself, Transparency is Key and Confidentiality makes it sustainable.

c. A Coach provokes. He / She chooses the timing and Methods when to and how to. Second, a mentor’s role is not to advise you but rather to give you a different way of thinking. I often have to remind my mentees that I’m not telling them what they should do. I’m simply offering another perspective, based on my experience. It’s critical that they consider what I say to them, but then make their own decisions. Otherwise, if things don’t work out, they will blame my advice—and miss out on the opportunity to learn from the best teacher of all: experience.

In that sense, a mentor is not so much an adviser but a sounding board. As for finding a mentor, there is no particular formula. I was lucky. My mentors came at different times in my life. They came from my within my extended family, My Teachers, Spiritual Gurus I was introduced to by my parents, Political leaders from different hues and colors whom I met and idolised early in my Teen years, Religious leaders who helped shape my thinking removing the Rituals and teaching me to Pray and Meditate, Friends and also my Bosses, Senior colleagues and some very worthy young talented people I met.

My mentees come from various sources—requests from students, friends, past colleagues, meetings, conferences, my Networks, my Linkedin Groups, responses to this blog or my Linkedin Group specially designed for C-Suite Mentors, community organisations, as also calls or emails which come out of the blue! I urge you to start slowly and let the relationship evolve. “You can simply ask for occasional counselling along the lines of: ‘Would you mind if I give you a call this week?” One of the Techniques I like in Mentoring are: Accountability Partners – which I learnt from the Global Coaching Guru – Dr Marshall Goldsmith.

Related articles FIND A MENTOR by @ThaboKgowana (leadership2020seminars.wordpress.com) Mentoring (eibhilin1997.wordpress.com)

Who Can Be A Mentor? (rosanneleone.wordpress.com)

Are You Too Old For A Mentor? (forbes.com)

Why You Aren’t Successful (And Never Will Be) (gnozzoknows.com)

Common Phases… (kinshippartners.wordpress.com)

Want A More Satisfying Career? Become A Mentor (forbes.com) Mentor Coordinator – Desoto Youth Court (mplicjob.wordpress.com)

Definitions of Mentoring (kinshippartners.wordpress.com) Buddy VS Mentor (darlynfis.wordpress.com) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentor