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Executive development for property leaders

Applications are now open for the UDIA NSW Executive Mentoring Program for leaders working in the property sector. Managed by McCarthy Mentoring the program offers talented industry specialists a unique professional development opportunity to work one2one with an experienced executive. Mentors will draw on their experience in business and as company directors in the sector to provide confidential advice and support. Participants will also be invited to exclusive networking events with program alumni and peers.

Research shows that mentoring is a strategic way for organisations to engage, retain and develop talented people. It also helps to manage succession planning, increase cross-organisation and industry communication, broaden networks as well as develop a culture of mentoring within the urban development industry.

The UDIA NSW Executive Mentoring Program is specifically designed to assist with:

  • Talent retention – recognise and engage high performing employees
  • Executive development – strengthening leadership capabilities

For the participants, the 12 month mentoring program offers:

  • Chance for reflection and clarity around professional and personal goals
  • one-to-one support and advice from some of the industry’s most respected leaders
  • Support to gain further confidence and become more effective leaders
  • Insights into effective stakeholder management and communication
  • Chance for reflection and clarity around professional and personal goals
  • Expanded professional networks and increased industry profile
  • Exclusive access to events with current participants and program alumni

Applications

Applications close Monday 12th September. Full details and applications forms are available here.

Who should apply

Talented professionals who are currently employed at a member organisation with 10 -15 years industry experience, a track record of achievement and the aspiration to be a future leader in the sector.

 


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How mentoring delivers leadership diversity

If you plan to be a leading organisation in 2017 with diversity of thinking at the executive level and a strong pipeline for growth, now is the time to implement change to make it happen.

The research is clear. The business case has been made. Yet according to the latest research by EY Australia, only 20% of companies reviewed have set up structured programs to increase numbers of women at the top.

Mentoring is one of the strategies that can change the figures and drive cultural change. Effective programs successfully retain and develop talented aspiring female leaders.

For example, 67% of women in a formal mentoring program at a top tier law firm were promoted to partner. 63% at an ASX listed company on a gender diversity mentoring program for senior women were promoted.[1] While the NRL has seen a substantial shift in numbers of female staff and team executives through its mentoring initiatives.

The latest Harvard Business Review report on programs to boost diversity in the workplace also sites mentoring as one of the top initiatives that can strengthen the pipeline. It says the programs that work don’t ‘teach or train’ but engage. They get active involvement from the top and encourage social accountability to be part of the solution.

Mentoring works because it allows emerging leaders to test ideas, gain fresh perspectives and seek experienced counsel on leadership, career and performance.  It helps promote women by boosting confidence, exposing emerging talented to senior executives and encouraging them to take risks with their careers and responsibility for their own progression.

Jetstar’s Chief Pilot Captain Georgina Sutton – only the second female chief pilot in the world – was selected for a mentoring program in her role as a senior Qantas Captain and says her mentor was invaluable in increasing her confidence and providing honest, candid advice to help her progress. She now strongly advocates the support of programs for women to enter leadership, particularly if they haven’t envisaged it for themselves.

Another senior manager on our program agreed, “mentoring gave me the courage and confidence to challenge the status quo and take risks and achieve beyond my wildest dreams”

They are not alone. Many business leaders, including our female mentors now sitting on some of Australia’s top company’s executive and board tables, advocate the value of mentoring to get ahead.

For maximum impact, a structured program with careful planning, good design and clarity of purpose is recommended.

In our experience, the program should be positioned as an initiative to support talented female participants. It should be championed from the top, matches carefully considered and clear parameters set to encourage engagement and commitment.

Formally connecting the mentee/mentor can also be an important part of its success. Women are statistically less inclined to approach potential mentors on their own and the recent Harvard Business Review’s research report suggests male executives feel uncomfortable reaching out informally to young women, yet are eager to mentor formally assigned protégés, whoever they may be.

In addition, connecting select women with experienced mentors within a program not only demonstrates the value the organisation places on them but validates the importance of focusing on their own career progression. It also creates a professional relationship that adds accountability and the required commitment to learn and grow.

Of course, other factors such as sponsorship, cultural change, increased flexibility and unconscious bias are all important parts of long term change.

Mentoring is certainly not the only solution but it can be an effective, cost-effective piece of the puzzle. It’s great to see all the discussions taking place but the figures make it clear we need to take action and implement the right initiatives to make it happen.

Don’t just hope it happens organically. It won’t.

 1] Results from McCarthy Mentoring Emerging Leader 12 month programs


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Invest in leadership development to hit org targets

A major two-year study urges organisations to invest in future leaders, particularly frontline leaders, to improve workplace performance and innovation. The report found 40% of companies are not hitting key performance targets due to under-investment in the next generation of leaders alongside concerns that local executives are relying too much on gut instinct to make decisions.

Effective mentoring allows emerging leaders to test ideas and gain a fresh, experienced perspective on leadership, management and performance.

In our recent NextGen Mentoring programs 75% of participants said their overall performance had improved, 73% improved influencing and negotiating skills, 85% are making better decisions while 84% of CEOs in a recent HBR study stated mentoring had made them more proficient in their roles faster.

Read the key findings from the 2016 Study of Australian Leadership by the University of Melbourne and Centre for Workplace Leadership.

It is the largest ever survey of leadership in Australia. SAL surveyed almost 8,000 individuals across 2,703 organisations and 2,561 workplaces. Respondents included senior leaders (such as CEOs), workplace leaders and specialists (such as HR managers), frontline leaders and employees


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Why successful entrepreneur seeks mentor.

The vibrant Nicole Eckels, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Sapphire Group, Glasshouse Fragrances and Circa Home shares her story being mentored by one of Australia’s leading women, Geraldine Paton AO. Click here to read.


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Mentoring and coaching: What’s the difference? Does it matter?

At a meeting this week in Sydney a senior HR professional responsible for tens of thousands of employees commented to me that there is still a lot of confusion around mentoring and coaching and when should one be offered as opposed to the other.

Does the newly appointed CEO, grappling with an inexperienced and demanding board need a coach or a mentor?   Which approach is most useful for the 30 something lawyer trying to make partnership who needs to build their profile and client base? What is most appropriate for the mature employee of a telco who wants to explore new ways of working as she approaches retirement?

Regardless of titles, people want support and advice to progress their careers and lives.  Some need inspiration to think big and long term, others benefit from accountability or constructive criticism to make change. Most of us want a trusted sounding board to test ideas and plans before executing them. It is a timeless practice to seek wise counsel on life’s big decisions – how to secure a new role, manage personal and professional relationships, clarify a career path, perform a leadership role to the best of your ability, combine work, family and life.

Mentors and coaches bring different skills to these relationships.  Mentors are selected in our practice for their experience and interest in developing people; some also have psychology and coaching qualifications.   It is their executive experience that mentees want access to.  How did they succeed in the big roles? Where did they fail? What path did they take to get there?  Did they feel lonely? How did they feign confidence when they didn’t feel it?

Mentoring encourages reflection and discussion and the agenda is set by the mentee.  The mentee’s manager in most cases nominates them for a mentoring program and may offer the mentor a broad brief on the person but is not involved throughout the program.  In a coaching relationship the agenda is set by the manager and the coach reports to the manager throughout.   A coach has undergone training to become accredited and has a set of tools and frameworks they draw on to help people reflect on their performance and set goals.

The purpose of coaching and mentoring also differs.  Coaching is offered to address a skill set or competency that needs improvement or correction, such as delegating, public speaking, managing teams; whereas mentoring supports people in career transitions.  It offers people a confidential and independent adviser with whom they can discuss a broad range of professional and personal issues. In our experience mentoring is offered to emerging leaders or valuable employees to develop their leadership skills as a part of succession planning.  This may be at a time where the company is being restructured, sold, or taking a new direction and mentoring can support people through this period and assist them to clarify their goals.

Another key difference is the time frame.  Mentoring is mostly over a much longer period, the majority of our programs are 12 months and meetings are monthly, as the emphasis is on reflection and implementing change incrementally. Coaching is often fortnightly for 4-8 meetings, it is more intense and focused on skill transfer.

In terms of outcomes, from an employer’s perspective mentoring is measured in terms of retention, promotion, expansion of role and higher leadership and engagement scores.  For coaching there are distinct targets or milestones that the coach works towards.

Over the past decade in Australia we have seen the development of executive coaching, a hybrid of coaching and mentoring which is offered to more senior people to help them address workplace issues and challenges and transition to senior roles.   Many executive coaches have executive backgrounds to draw on, accredited coaching skills and use a combination of coaching and mentoring hats to support and develop people.   Many of our mentors wear both hats and swap depending on the mentee’s circumstances, needs, goals and profession.

This is where it can get confusing, but the earlier points about timing, purpose and the relationship between coach and manager are still distinctions and if you are an employer or manager and considering development for your people reflect on the aim of the program, for the individual and the company, their needs, the stage of their career, and the method that will be most appropriate for them.


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