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Performing at your best

Engagement impacts performance and productivity. Yet at the recent World Business Forum (WBF) in Sydney, a number of the speakers referred to the alarming statistic that only 16% of employees are engaged at work – the rest are transacting. There are many reasons: response to significant change, uncertainty, lack of control, lack of trust or poor leadership. Organisations effectively use leadership programs to engage and retain their people. Yet what actions can you take to stay engaged and perform at your best.

Drawing on our experience and insights from the WBF expert speakers, here are five suggestions and links to the research:

  1. Understand your strengths and weaknesses: you grow and learn most when delivering work that play to your strengths. What are they? How can you do more of that? Statically if 20% of your work is doing what you love (not just do) then burnout goes down. Any less than that, burnout goes up. (Marcus Buckingham). Use our personal SWOT to help remind you where you can make the greatest  contribution.
  2. Take charge. Be accountable for the choices you make. Have you talked to your manager about an opportunity that you have seen or inhouse project you’d like to contribute to? What actions are you taking to build networks, keep learning, take on interesting challenges? Research has found people in teams are statistically more engaged – is there a team you’d like to be part of?
  3. Identify the barriers. Who or what is interfering and holding us back? Is it mindset, beliefs, skill gap, structure, people and importantly, what needs to happen to shift them? “Do you see change as an opportunity or a threat?” (Charlene Li) Who within the business can help you?
  4. Be emotionally agile. Deliberate tweaks to our mindset, motivation and habits can make a powerful difference. Be less self-critical and acknowledge your and others emotions in response to change, stress, challenges. It’s okay not to be positive all the time but it’s important to adapt. This emotional agility impacts performance and engagement. The key is to know how to gain critical insight about how you react to situations and interactions and use them to make changes and bring your best forward (Dr Susan David). 
  5. Get a fresh perspective. Not all of these suggestions are easy. Leverage your relationship with your formal mentor, coach or identify someone who you trust and respect to test ideas and discuss strategies on how to achieve this. If you’ve done psychometric assessments such as Hogan or LSI, reflect and share the findings on what motivates and drives you.

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Youth Mental Health Advocate Wins Exec Scholarship

Congratulations to Jonathan Peatfield from youth mental health organisation, batyr, as the recipient of the McCarthy Mentoring NFP Executive Scholarship. He will be mentored by Petra Buchanan, non-executive director and former CEO of McGrath Foundation.

Now in its seventh year, the scholarship offers a standout professional in the sector the opportunity to work one-to-one with an experienced mentor from our network to strengthen leadership skills, manage challenges, clarify goals and increase their capacity to affect change in the community. The program includes resources, tools and access to our boardroom networking events.

In his role as Head of Partnerships, Jonathan drives key relationships to support the organisation’s long term financial sustainability against the significant growth in delivery they are experiencing. Batyr aims to “smash the stigma surrounding mental ill health and empower young people to reach out for support.”

Jonathan was among a very high calibre group of applicants shortlisted, highlighting the demand for guidance on the challenges and opportunities NFP executives face.

“Evidence shows the significant benefits effective mentoring has on leadership, performance and careers. We are pleased to support an impressive executive who has already made an impact in his space and is keen to grow and learn to make a greater contribution in the future,” said McCarthy Mentoring Executive Director, Sophie McCarthy.

“Working in the NFP space we rely on mentors to help bring a new perspective and insight to what we do. This is not only a great experience for me but will have a knock on effect for my team and batyr in general,” said Jonathan. “Thanks for backing me!’

Visit our scholarships page to find out more about past recipients and future opportunities.


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Social change advocate wins scholarship

Accelerating programs that lift up the most disadvantaged members of our community is the focus of this year’s McCarthy Mentoring Not-for-Profit Executive Mentoring Scholarship recipient.

Winner Tom Hull is General Manager of The Funding Network (TFN), a unique live crowdfunding model that supports grassroots social impact organisations. Since its launch, TFN Australia has facilitated over $8 million in funding and in-kind support for hundreds of organisations.

Now in its sixth year, the scholarship offers an exciting opportunity for a stand-out senior leader in the not for profit sector to work one-to-one with an experienced mentor. Recipients take part in McCarthy Mentoring’s successful Executive Mentoring Program that is designed to accelerate learning, help progress their career and strengthen their capacity to affect change through their important work in the community.

This year’s winner has been matched with the CEO of the Future Generation companies and experienced philanthropy advisor, Louise Walsh. Louise has been the Director of Artsupport Australia, CEO of Philanthropy Australia and is currently a board member of St Vincent’s Curran Foundation, the City Recital Hall in Sydney and the Snow Foundation.

McCarthy Mentoring’s Executive Director, Sophie McCarthy said that it was important to offer the scholarship to leaders and change agents in the sector who may have limited funding for formal professional development programs.

“We know our mentoring programs make a difference in building leadership capability and managing tough challenges across all sectors. Common themes for discussion in the NFP sector include managing high demands with limited resources, building sustainable funding, improving leadership skills, communicating effectively with boards and having someone to discuss the stresses in leading a successful not for profit,” she said.

“We’re delighted to offer the scholarship to Tom Hull and connect him to Louise Walsh who is a such an experienced advisor in this space. As mentor, Louise will act as a confidential sounding board to test ideas, share insights and stretch Tom to grow and strengthen as a leader.”

“I am honoured and grateful to be given this development opportunity” said Tom Hull. “We’ve already had a couple of sessions and it’s hugely stimulating to learn from someone like Louise, who has such deep sector knowledge but also very broad experience. It’s encouraging me to reflect on how I can be most effective in my work and how to strengthen my ability to influence change at a broader level.”

This is the 6th year the scholarship has been offered with outstanding results: see list and outcomes of past recipients.

Social change advocate wins NFP Executive Mentoring Scholarship download full media release

Past recipients

  • 2017  – Tatiana Isaacs, Fundraising and Communications Director, The Shepherd Centre
  • 2016  – Sarah Coker, Director of Programs for national mental health charity SANE Australia
  • 2015  – Suzanne Connolly-Andrews, CEO,  Gurriny Yealamucka Health Services, Northern Queensland. Read Suzanne’s mentoring story in The Australian.
  • 2014  – Brett Macdonald, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dry July Foundation
  • 2013  – Karen Bevan, CEO Girl Guides Australia

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How to make mentoring work and why your workplace will benefit

In the Black magazine interviews Sophie McCarthy on the benefits of mentoring for developing leaders, retaining good people and accelerating learning. The article also offers some useful ideas for mentees and mentors to make the most of the relationship.

“Only about a third of mentoring relationships will work without preparation. Two in three will work if the mentor is trained, and training both the mentor and mentee should yield a 90% success rate,” David Clutterbuck, international pioneer of workplace mentoring and coaching.

‘How to make mentoring work and why your workplace will benefit’ In the Black magazine, May 2018

 


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Leadership Forums for executives

Join one of our Executive Leadership Forums in the new financial year to challenge yourself, develop and connect with accomplished executives from a range of industries and professions. The facilitated small group sessions will support and test approaches and strategies around key decision-making, risk taking, leading change and other workplace challenges. Expressions of interest now open for Sydney and Brisbane.

Past participants say it has given them invaluable insights, practical advice and strengthened their ability to effectively lead in this changing climate.

“The shared experiences and sound advice has made me a better leader.” “I feel much less isolated in my executive role.”


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