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"In the fast-paced 21st century a mentor can be anyone with subject matter expertise, regardless of their age."

In the following article,  Ken Blanchard shares his experiences of mentoring

One of the most invigorating experiences I’ve had in the past couple of years has been my partnership with Claire Diaz-Ortiz.

A former Twitter vice president in her early thirties, Claire has taught me a great deal about the business of social networking — and I’ve helped her learn a few things about the business of publishing. Ours is truly a cross-generational mentoring relationship.  Mentoring has become a hot topic in recent years, and it’s one that’s always been close to my heart. Yet despite growing interest, mentoring is still not a common practice. We’d like to change that.

Mentoring has become a hot topic in recent years, and it’s one that’s always been close to my heart. Yet despite growing interest, mentoring is still not a common practice. We’d like to change that.

Our research has found that while people like the idea of mentoring, they encounter predictable obstacles when taking that first step. Many don’t know how to find a mentor. Then, many people aren’t sure how to work with a mentor.

(more…)


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Strong company culture starts with strong leaders. But some leaders may be sending the right--or wrong--signals without even knowing it.

When Alan Mulally became the CEO of Ford in 2006, the motor company's market share was plummeting. The problem was internal: Teams weren't communicating or working towards a unified vision. Mulally turned that around with his leadership.

At weekly meetings, he asked managers to use a traffic light system to indicate their progress on key programs. A green light meant it was going well; a red light meant there were critical issues. At his first meeting, he noticed everyone had green lights. Given the state of the company, Mulally knew this wasn't possible. And he told the managers so.

The next week, the meeting was full of red lights. The problems were finally on the table, and they could get to work--all because Mulally encouraged transparency.

As Mulally illustrates, strong company cultures start with strong leaders. Employees look to corporate leaders to set a precedent in the office and keep them engaged. The problem is that some leaders may be fostering a strong--or weak--culture without even realizing it.

Here are three ways leaders unknowingly influence the workplace. (more…)


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In this video, Paul Bridle helps us understand the difference between leadership and management.

 


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Becoming a mentor isn’t easy, but it’s often a worthwhile way to develop a new skillset, empower an organization, and promote change.

Mentors are an important aspect for companies to create and encourage a positive and rewarding work culture.

They’re also a key formal or informal tool in the learning leaders’ developmental arsenal. But oftentimes, finding a mentor at work can be an overwhelming and challenging task.

Mentorship is a two-way street. We are all both student and teacher, regardless of how experienced we are. So, when it comes to mentorship, we should not only seek out individuals to inspire and guide us, we should feel empowered to be the role model for others. Actively trying to be a role model can help you find what you’re looking for in a mentor.

But how do you start? The tipping point to become an agent of change begins with seeing an issue or condition that you know needs improvement — and feeling empowered and motivated to take action.

Take, for example, the case of greater diversity in the workplace. The evidence and conditions for action are abundantly clear.

According to an issue of Harvard Business Review, among all U.S. companies with 100 or more employees, the proportion of black men in management is 3.3 percent. Further, according to Leaders 2020, a recent global study by Oxford Economics and SAP [Editor’s note: The author works for SAP], diversity has increased substantially among the general workforce over the past three years, but change has been slower to come to midlevel management, and even less evident among senior executives and corporate boards.

(more…)


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At the start of a coaching / mentoring partnership, it is essential to discuss mutual expectations and establish a set of ground rules as to how the relationship will be conducted.

This will ensure that the relationship develops effectively and that the client’s needs are met.

The contract need not be in writing, but it should at least be discussed and agreed verbally.

Also, it is not set in stone – amendments can be made at any time. In fact, you should make a point of reviewing the contract together regularly to ensure that you are both still on track.

This checklist will ensure that you have agreed on the most important aspects of the coaching / mentoring contract with your coachee.

 COACHING & MENTORING CONTRACT

 


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Aiming to become a customer-centric organisation is never easy, and it may require a multi-year journey.

In order for an organisation to sustain a change agenda over that span of time, the senior management team needs to actively lead the effort.

What does that mean for those leaders?

The most effective leaders demonstrate three key characteristics:

Communicate "Why" The only way to get people to truly buy-in to change is for them to understand why it's happening. Most executives tend to under-communicate. And when they do communicate, they often focus on "what" the company will be doing and "how" it will get done.

Here are some ways that executives can improve their communications: (more…)


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