Board Matters

Mentor, coach, counsellor – which is it to be?

external mentoring program

By Wendy McCarthy AO from The Long View

In my own career people I often describe as mentors were really sponsors in that they paraphrased the culture, identified opportunities and encouraged me to take risks across the professional silos. I remain eternally grateful to them HBR regularly publishes articles about the relative merits of sponsorship and mentoring. In a recent one 11/ 2011 sponsors were described as turbocharged mentors who offer guidance but also advocate for you by suggesting you for a promotion, calling in favours, or connecting you with other leaders. It requires performance and loyalty from the mentee/protégé. Sponsorship is the preferred relationship in the USA and when creating the mentoring practice 15 years ago I was fascinated to observe how culturally based mentoring and sponsorship were. The British and European models were more focussed on external mentors and coaches so true to the Australian I went with the hybrid approach and encouraged networking as part of the relationship.

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Managing the governance challenges facing NFPs

McCarthy Mentoring Executive Program Sydney

This article reviews some of the key challenges facing NFP organisations and some of the resourceful ways boards are responding. Sophie McCarthy shares her thoughts about the role of directors as donors.

Read full article Fighting Back, Company Director Magazine (AICD), June 2015

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Ten ways to become a better mentor

leadership mentoring

This blog piece Ten Ways to Become a Great Mentor by INSEAD Business School graduate, Martin Hall reflects many of our best practice tips for mentors.

He writes that a great mentor is able to lead their mentee with empathy, sensitivity and patience, while constantly adapting to changing times and circumstances.

“Mentoring is a “relationship” and a successful relationship is based on an effective two-way model of sharing, commitment and trust.”
His ten ‘rules’ for mentors include:
1. Be a complete role model
2. Be empathetic
3. Help in evolving strengths and diluting weaknesses
4. Listen effectively and deeply  – (recommend: Everything you need to know to become a better listener)
5. Be open-minded
6. Have great patience
7. Display commitment
8. Educating and passing on
9. Be privy to the personal side
10. Tailor advice to circumstances
Importantly, he shares an insight often made by our mentors: “The joys of witnessing someone succeed and progress in life and the realisation that they have helped in some way for the individual to progress on that path is unparalleled for any mentor.”

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HBR research: CEO’s need mentors too

 “With the right mentoring at the top, everyone stands to gain.” HBR April 2015

Harvard Business Review investigates the emerging trend of CEOs accessing seasoned counsel by engaging the services of experienced leaders from outside their company.

The result: “we are convinced that more CEOs should connect with mentors rather than assume that theirs is a burden to be shouldered alone.”

CEOs are routinely making decisions concerning matters they’ve never before tackled. They are tested by decisions and management situations that they haven’t encountered.

“In such high-stakes situations, CEOs need wise mentoring.”

“Mentors … are role models who have ‘been there and done that.’ They can offer timely, context-specific counsel drawn from experience; wisdom; and networks that are highly relevant to the problems to be solved.”

Interviewing a new CEO of a giant insurance company, they found he was certain he could benefit from the perspective of someone who had been down similar roads before. He believes the mentoring has made a very real difference to his performance – and his companies.

Of the CEOs with formal mentoring arrangements surveyed:

  • 71% were certain company performance had improved as a result
  • 69% were making better decisions
  • 76% were more capably fulfilling shareholder expectations
  • 84% said mentors had helped them avoid costly mistakes and become proficient in their roles faster.

Read more about McCarthy Mentoring’s Executive Mentoring Program and mentor network.

Read full article CEOs Need Mentors Too by Suzanne de Janasz and Maury Peiperl, Harvard Business Review, April 2015

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A mentor could be the smartest investment your board makes this year

Learn more about the McCarthy Mentoring Executive Mentoring Program

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