For the most part, we are naturally inclined to pursue security in our private lives, saving, investing and building for our futures whilst surrounding ourselves with people whom we trust and inherently believe will always be there for us throughout the twists and turns that life presents. We rely upon the sound advice of individuals who we know have our best interests at heart. We learn from those who have gained greater wisdom and knowledge, sometimes by virtue alone of being on the planet longer than ourselves. Often because they have emerged from similar or more difficult situations and are driven to convey to us their philosophies and experiences.They want us to succeed because they have total faith in us and importantly will shine a light on the potential hazards that lie in wait, firmly guiding us to skilfully navigate around the threats to reach our desired destination.
Strangely, although we all understand that the hierarchy of a family innately provides us with elders to learn from. We also recognise that loyal friends will happily dispense their opinions for our benefit, we can rarely speak freely to our closest work colleagues about our innermost concerns and fears. Perhaps it is entirely understandable. We work in competitive environments alongside colleagues who are often endeavouring to outperform us, and an open posture might conceivably be perceived as a form of weakness, especially if we occupy a senior management role.
Who can we confide in at work, and importantly, who can we turn to for guidance and direction?
In the sporting world, we readily accept that world class athletes will engage an experienced coach to provide expert support, training and guidance to achieve a consistently high level of performance. It is not just their physical conditioning and technique that the coach will address, but significantly their mind set, their psyche. They must possess an absolute belief in themselves, be focussed, alert and courageous and entirely confident that they can prevail and win.
The role of a Trusted Advisor is a subject that I often discuss when I coach and mentor recruiters relative to their relationships with clients and candidates. Imparting the irrefutable truth that “people buy people”, or to be more succinct, they buy from people within whom their trust is placed. If we acknowledge that success in our personal and business lives is inextricably linked to the development of trust in those that hold a varying degree of positive influence over us, why is it that business owners and leaders often fail to engage a business coach and mentor who could act as a Guardian, offering counselling, expert advice and hard earned experience and knowledge?
Why would so many prefer to tough it out, “lead with their chins” and learn business skills and strategies the hard and occasionally bruising way?
Is it good old fashioned British reserve or maybe a nervousness to expose a degree of insecurity and inexperience to others?
The definition of a mentor is “someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague”. A mentor will support a mentee to control their own development and enable them to build on their inherent abilities and skills. To optimise the mentee’s potential and assist them to realise their ambitions and aspirations. Most highly successful business leaders believe that it makes no logical sense to manage a business without the invaluable aid of a close business coach and mentor to ensure that their deliberations and decisions are well considered and planned, based upon deep and meaningful experience, sound advice and proven knowledge, not a speculative approach and gut instinct.
Learning does not stop when we leave education, we all have an opportunity to engage with “teachers”. This can only be achieved when we are prepared to be open minded, curious and eager to absorb fresh ideas, philosophies and ideologies. Managing a business can be an isolating and vulnerable experience when embarked upon without the support and comradeship of trusted colleagues and advisors; a journey that has in equal measure potential rich rewards and unmapped perils. Engaging a business coach and mentor is a proven and outstanding investment in the development of an inspiring and visionary leadership team leading to goals and aspirations being realised in a shorter time frame, and ultimately of course increased profits and dividends for investors.