McCarthy Mentoring asked Sally Herman, mentor and non-executive director, her thoughts on the value of mentoring, what she most enjoys about the experience and some of the common issues she is asked by mentees.
Value of mentoring: As a mentor, the most valuable aspect for me is that I am able to provide a little help along the way for people who are determined to be successful. I really enjoy being able to use some of my own experiences as another data point in analysing possible courses of action. For my mentees, I think they find it valuable that I don’t judge them, but that I do help them challenge their approach to any situation as well as to their career path
Most enjoy? I really enjoy interacting with smart, motivated and high potential executives and watching how they adapt and grow in their roles, and often, move into more senior roles. It is wonderful to see that the addition of an external perspective can make a difference.
Most common issues asked? The question that is common to most of my mentoring relationships is “how would I handle this hypothetical situation?” The two things that strike me the most frequently are firstly that my mentees underrate their own leadership capability, and secondly, that they believe that their hard work will speak for itself in terms of career progression. In this latter regard, we spend quite a lot of time talking about how to build relationships and networks, and how to look at their career path in different ways.
Sally Herman has had a successful career in financial services in both Australia and the US. She spent 16 years with the Westpac Group, running major business units in most operating divisions of the Group, including the Institutional Bank, Wealth Management (BT Financial) and the Retail and Business Banking division. Her most recent role at Westpac was heading up Corporate Affairs and Sustainability for the Group, a role she held through the merger with St.George and the global financial crisis. Sally is on the board of Breville Group, Premier Investments Limited, FSA Group Limited, Members Equity Bank Pty Ltd, Investec and is Chair of Urbis Pty Ltd, a national property consultancy firm. She is actively involved in the community, with a particular interest in education, the arts and disability services.