Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mentoring magic

“One of the greatest values of mentors is their ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell

When I was in government I was fortunate enough to have a manager who did just that.  She saw my potential long before I did and as a result would give me stretch opportunities so I could learn new skills and develop my leadership skills.

I’ve blogged about formal mentorship programs before and from my personal experience they haven’t always worked that well, much because of the matching, or lack of thought given on who would connect and work well together.   It seemed more a superficial linkage based on skill sets the mentee required.

I have even participated in an online mentoring program through which I was matched with a young university student in United Arab Emirates which was an interesting experience where I think I learned more than she did!

Over the years I have also mentored several women and each time I have chosen them.  There was some chemistry between us from the get-go and I’d seen their potential and wanted to help them get ahead.

That’s why I am so excited about the mentoring program Company of Women will be starting in January.  This past week I met up with Laurie Hunt, who has facilitated numerous mentoring programs, and who, I am thrilled to announce will be heading up our program.

Right from the very start we plan to capitalize on the synergy between the women when we do the matching.  In addition to an application form through which the women have to indicate their goals and what help they need, we are hosting a “mingle and match” event so everyone gets to meet and from there the “matching” begins.

The goal is that the mentors and mentees “meet” once a month, which can be done in person, over the phone, on Skype – whichever works best for the couple.  Touching base once or twice by email is also encouraged.  There will be webinars and other learning opportunities, as well as group face-to-face meetings during the year.

Being an entrepreneur is a solo occupation and it can be challenging to find someone who will give you impartial advice, be a sounding board and who will lend their wisdom and expertise with you.  Having a mentor means you have someone in your corner.  How cool is that.

This fall Laurie will be speaking at each of the chapters to talk more about your existing network and the mentoring program, what it is … and what it isn’t.  Like anything else, you only get out of it, what you put in.  We are also looking for mentors and if you would be interested in taking on this role, contact us.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

There is a world beyond business - who knew?

How’s your summer going?  

Don’t know about you but I was more than ready to switch off, yet it’s not that easy to do is it?  I find it is only when I go away; leave the building, that I totally turn off the business switch.

That said, I am enjoying the slower pace and while I may do a little writing each day, it is not the same as the frenetic speed required for the rest of the year.

I am also spending my time with friends – people I haven’t touched base with for a while, often people who are not business connections.  That in itself is a break. Although with all my wining and dining, I am hoping I don’t pack on all the weight I have recently lostJ

But it is fun to catch up; to talk about stuff other than business.  There is a world beyond our businesses… who knew.

Come August I know I will have to get into gear… fast, but until then I am enjoying this time to get to know new friends, reacquaint myself with others and just reconnect with myself and what I want out of life.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Domestic goddess? Maybe not.

There’s nothing like company coming to get you to clean up your act.

We have guests coming in September … I know … that’s a couple of months away, but with my schedule I need to tackle stuff when I have the time.  So this long weekend I set about clearing some drawer space for them.

In one drawer I keep all the medical supplies -  my medicine cabinet if you will.  

I discovered that I have a lifetime supply of bandaids – or “plasters” as we would say in the UK.  So if you cut yourself, I have literally got you covered.

On the other hand, if you had a funny tummy. .. Well, let’s just say it’s just as well no one got sick at our place, because all the meds were so out of date, I’d have made you even sicker if I’d given you any.  

Now some were just a year out of date, but others, I am embarrassed to admit expired several years ago… like 2007.  I know, I know… it’s been a while. What can I say?  You will be pleased to hear that I’ve ditched the lot.

However, it flags a different issue for me.  No wonder pharmaceutical companies do well.  You buy a package of say Imodium, and hopefully only have to take one pill, but then the package stays untouched and it expires.  So you buy another pack, and repeat.

My question for you – am I the only one with a long-expired medicine cabinet?  Anyone else going to ‘fess up?