Halftime Report: the Value of Mentoring

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2020 is half over.

For many, it’s a “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” attitude. Filled with so many unexpected, and primarily negative things happening in our country and world, it’s no wonder many of us would like a do-over.  Technically, we DO get a “do-over” multiple times per year. The halfway point of the year (no matter how good or bad it’s been) is a good time to evaluate and reset ourselves in goals, priorities, and values.  Sometimes, it’s particularly helpful to have a mentor involved in that process (or be one.)

I have felt incredibly inspired lately to be able to be a mentor and coach in some capacity to several of my client controllers and finance team members.  It’s our responsibility as leaders and experts to provide a trusting, enthusiastic and continually developing work environment to the new generation.  I’ve enjoyed passing along my experience and ideas to them, hoping to help them avoid mistakes and make decisions with wisdom and trustworthy information.

But you can’t just immediately jump into a mentor/mentee relationship without developing trust. It’s a process that goes both directions – me with them, them with me. It involves doing what you say, being transparent and honest, delivering results, and confronting some harsh realities.  You have to be willing to establish clear expectations and hold each other accountable. Sometimes that involves having difficult conversations.

I have set weekly meetings with several of my key client controllers to insure I set clear expectations for the immediate,  and quarterly meetings to focus more on the long-term.  The quarterly meetings are where we dive deeper and I provide bi-lateral candid feedback, using a simple checklist to help me help them review both theirs—and MY leadership and management.  The process is remarkably effective to build trust and accountabilty. I’m also working on my listening skills so I can better understand the other person’s perspective.

Mentoring and coaching is about leadership and guidance.  I find sometimes the teacher becomes the student and I’m loving it.

How about you? As you make a halftime report to yourself, can you consider getting involved in a mentor/mentee relationship to help you grow in your leadership skills the second half of 2020?