That’s a big statement to make, but that’s what Bonnie Boezeman AO had to say about the value of having a mentor in a recent discussion on leadership, performance and careers.
With a successful career in global public and private sector executive roles, including Managing Director Aus/NZ, Time Warner Inc, Chair of PayPal Australia, and Director of Perpetual Trustees, Bonnie has seen the impact of effective mentoring for herself and others.
Bonnie was sharing her insights as part of the launch of an Executive Mentoring Program for executive-level women which McCarthy Mentoring is offering in partnership with Women in Banking & Finance (WiBF). The program is aimed at strengthening and increasing the number of women leaders in the sector.
Participants in the six month program will be carefully matched with an experienced mentor or coach from our extensive network, which includes Bonnie as well as Susan Forrester AM, experienced company director, Director of ASX- listed G8 Education Ltd and former CEO.
Susan also shared her mentoring insights and experience in responding to the challenges faced in her board roles over the past few months. She highlighted her need to draw on her three guiding principles of leadership during the pandemic: courage, humility and discipline in all aspects of her communication, decision making and management.
Bonnie agreed. “Good management leads to good leadership which is in how you treat people and how you bring people along for the ride. In companies, you get ahead by being able to motivate and inspire people. It’s all about your team, your people, how you deal with them and help them to get through things. That’s how you build loyalty, motivation and a strong team,” she said.
With Susan’s mentoring hat on, she went on to remind us that while executive women spend a lot of time developing strategic plans for their business units and divisions and corporations, we often don’t give ourselves enough time to develop our own strategic plan.
“I wonder how often we sit down with a piece of paper and think about what I want to be doing in 5 years time, what do I need to get in place to get there, and what might be the roadblocks, and that seems to be my role as a mentor when I work with mentees – actually giving people the space to actually really reflect deeply on what they want to do,” Susan said.
Bonnie added that she encouraged others to visualize what their life looks like, what role or position they want to be in, which then drives the decisions behind the opportunities and career risks taken.
Continuing on the role of mentoring, Susan said mentees: “had to be open to receiving fearless advice and having the mirror held up. It may not always be what you want it to be, but when you trust your mentor to give you that feedback and invest in the development process, it will create a really valuable relationship.”
“Often it’s about giving women the confidence to reach for their goals, test their decisions and having someone to guide you through,” she reflected.
Mentors on the WiBF Executive Mentoring Program will draw on their board and executive management experience to provide practical perspectives, personal stories and strategic advice for participants to apply in their roles.
The full interviews with Susan Forrester AM and Bonnie Boezeman AO can be found here and here. In August, executive mentor, former CFO IBM Australia and non executive director, Sara Watts will join the discussion. Register for the webinar here.