12 Mentor Moments to help leaders grow their businesses profitably

 

I was chatting with Art Petty not long ago. Art is a thought leader in the space of “leadership” and I mentioned I feel like singing …” where have all the mentors gone? Long time passing everyone…” As I discussed with Art, a number of the young leaders coming up through the ranks lack a foundation in basic skills that were once the responsibility of one’s mentors to teach.

With the aging demographic of baby boomers and their impending exodus (though probably delayed) our economy has a potential leadership shortfall GAP in the next 10 years that could have dramatic negative impacts on organization’s profits and shareholder values. We must train our future leaders and set them up to win in the future.

I was blessed to have a number of mentors throughout my career and to this day the wisdom they shared still resonates within me. So I set out to be a part of the solution and share the wisdom they generously shared with me, with you, in my blog. If you like this format please let me know and I will share more.

Over the last few weeks I have shared;

12 Mentor Moments;

Mentor Moment #1: Don’t let them know where you tie your Goat

Mentor Moment #2: You don’t have to be a Prick -Ly person, to become a leader

Mentor Moment #3: Just because you can, does not mean you should

Mentor Moment #4: When tempers flare, Ask yourself…”Is this the Hill you want to die on”?karate belts

Mentor Moment #5: Brand with Intention or the Market will “Brand you by Default”

Mentor Moment #6, Seek Significance Not Success

Mentor Moment #7: Inspect what you Expect

Mentor Moment #8: “Haste makes Waste”

Mentor Moment #9: Insight without Action…a waste of time and money

Mentor Moment #10: “Nail it before you Scale it”

Mentor Moment #11: Seek First to Understand, BEFORE You Take Action

Mentor Moment #12: Dance with the Date who Brought you to the Dance

As I face challenges I have the benefit of over 25 years of experience and mentors wisdom to center me and help me make decisions that provide the maximum value. These mentor moments I now so cherish are often used to filter new information.

If you currently do not have a mentor…find one!

If you are not currently mentoring someone…become one!

I am reminded of when I studied martial arts and I became a green belt. In our dojo, once you earned a green belt you have demonstrated the ability to execute basic key movements on a consistent basis, so you were asked to teach the white belts. At first, as a young green belt we thought this was an honor to share our knowledge and skill. However as you progress in rank over the years you ask new green belts to teach you understand that when you teach it makes your understanding of techniques and movement stronger. The same is true for when you choose to mentor others.

Being a mentor to others is not for sissy’s…

They will test you.

They probably will not value you when you challenge them.

They may misinterpret your assistance as discipline.

They may push your buttons when they become uncomfortable..Push them anyway.

The more they challenge you, the more your proficiency will grow.

When challenged you will find your skill grows as well.

How about your organization…

Do you have a formal mentor program to prepare tomorrow’s leaders? If so please share…

How about you, do you have a mentor?

Did you pick them or did they pick you?

What are some mentor moments you have been given over the years the up and coming leaders should hear?

If you find yourself looking for a mentor, you can read some the mentors I studied over the years on my about page. Be a part of the solution and actively seek out mentors to improve your results today and into the future.

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Mentor Moment #8: “Haste makes Waste”

haste

Is it just me…or do our fathers seem smarter as we get older? When we as individuals or organizations “haste” and drive knee jerk reactions they also create waste and often make matters worse.

I can remember my father saying “haste makes waste” throughout my childhood. He said it when I was painting our fence and I was so focused on getting done I was not aware of the mess I was making beneath the fence and would latter spend many extra hours cleaning up.

I try not to talk about politics in my blog, however a great example of “haste makes waste “can be viewed today by watching the actions of President Obama and the Democratic Party with regards to the stimulus and healthcare reform. They moved so fast to push a stimulus bill through the system that a number of those involved in signing the bill, failed to read it. As a Christian man I am to pray for my leaders so I prayed that what looked like haste makes waste was not the case. However we are well into the stimulus and it should not shock anyone that what was rushed to signature has failed to produce the promised results.

Same play, act two…the healthcare reform bill. Again we are seeing a rush to closure. When hitting a date becomes more important than what you are doing you are lost, off track and must STOP. I agree we need to reform healthcare so I am not arguing about the unresolved problem, the need. What I am concerned with is the focus on quick closure verse writing a bill that will truly solve the problem. Is this something only politicians do? Unfortunately no.

We can look in the Bible and read Samuel to learn what happened to Saul when he failed to wait as instructed and rushed into battle. Like an unruly child saying “but I want it now” (The only battle he lost, but the one that was the beginning of his end as the leader)

In business we see leaders making plans and focusing so much energy on holding teams accountable to a specific date they fail to achieve their desired results. Part of the waste can be seen as products having to be re-launched. We see businesses and Politian’s going back to their supporters and asking for more support as the initiative they hasted failed to deliver when what they need to do is Detox.

When we haste we create waste, and waste is something none of us can afford today.

How about your company, have you seen your team “haste” that resulted in “waste”?

Why do leaders seem to connect to timelines more than outcomes?

Does it really take longer to do it right, gather data, seek the advice of experts, than to haste?

Have you ever seen something hasted through that hit or surpassed its objectives?

I can hear my dad now, if he had a chance to address the President and congress: Haste makes waste…and what you are wasting is my, and my great great grand children’s’, futures. Based on the polls they do not seem to be listening, but you can listen in your business and make sure you are not hasting.