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27th May, 2016 No Comments

Silhouette of a android robot head with construction crane and machinery against a fiery skyscape, for the concept of reconstruction of mindset

 
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” Isaac Newton.

Pause for a moment and think about your business. Maybe things are going along nicely; the orders are coming in, customers are satisfied and the staff must be okay as they aren’t complaining. You are doing a great job – well done you!

When you are the boss, who do you talk to about the next step, your vision, and your plans? Being in charge can be a lonely place and even the most self-assured person can sometimes waiver.

You are in a strong position, but maybe it’s time to consider raising the bar further, upping your game, getting ahead of the rest. It is very easy to do what you have always done, especially if it’s working. To be the best however, may require a bit of support. Usain Bolt is a fantastic athlete, but he still has someone working with him to ensure his optimum performance. He described ‘the times when you want to doubt yourself’ and the value of the support from his mentor. You may be a fantastic operator but could you benefit from the wisdom of mentor to drive you further forward?

True mentoring has amazing business and personal benefits. Not to be confused with an advisor or a counsellor, the right mentor will not tell you how things should be done but will inspire, share wisdom and reinforce your self-belief. There is a real benefit in connecting with someone who may have met similar challenges and who can save you time by sharing their story, perhaps stopping you from making the same mistake as they did. Another powerful benefit that emerges from the mentor/mentee relationship is access to the mentor’s personal networks, which can be invaluable – in businesses the ‘know who’ can be as important as the ‘know how’.

The trick is in finding the right mentor, chemistry is everything. You need to be very clear about expectations from both sides, avoiding any potential conflicts of interest. A mentor should be prepared to share experience freely and voluntarily and this relationship takes time to build. It is a challenge, but there are some fantastic examples around. The UK is packed with some very talented caring business people who are happy to share their wisdom and experience.

You’ve got nothing to lose; you could grow your business and develop yourself in ways that you have not considered. All it takes is investment in time, a leap of faith and the rewards could be significant.

Written by Carole White, Chief Executive, TEDCO Business Support delivering business support in the North East

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