Mentoring Leaders for Bold Tomorrows
Individual Mentoring or Custom In-house Group Programs
Publishing and Speaking
In this Issue:
From Urgency to Investment: A Matter of Values
Leader Mentoring: The New Development Resource
September 10, 2008 - 9:00AM
Doubletree Suites, Waltham, MA
Michael Shenkman Introduces the Idea
of Leader Mentoring
In Leader Mentoring: Find, Inspire and Cultivate Great Leaders, Michael Shenkman makes the case that mentoring differs from instruction, teaching, and coaching in that it emphasizes not talents and skills used in executing a project but the qualities and values of life that are needed to sustain oneself in the creative endeavor. "No mentors, no leaders," he says, adding, "I want my new book to strongly advocate for leader mentoring as an essential, premium developmental service that aspiring leaders and their sponsors, bosses and partners need to invest in."
Click the book's cover to learn more.
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In a recent conversation with a locally prominent CEO who has built a hugely successful regional business, I asked, “What causes a leader’s greatest pain?”
His answer: “When people in the organization do not feel the same sense of urgency.”
He continued, “Urgency is built into the leader’s DNA. No one would become a leader if they didn’t feel a sense of urgency about putting a dream into the world, but an employee may not feel the same way about their job.”
So the leader who wants to increase the sense of urgency is faced with choices. According to my CEO friend, “To instill a sense of urgency, I am going to have to make what I think is important become important to them. So, then it’s a matter of offering something I think will spur that sense of urgency. Is it a speech or pep talk? Is it money? Is it a promotion? Is it on the spot recognition? Is it training? My answer will depend on what I think the situation demands and my available resources. But when it comes down to it, where I put my money depends on what I value: how much I value a successful outcome in this situation, what I value my employees for, and what I think my employees value. It’s a values question.”
Our conversation continued to explore a values-driven continuum of a leader’s choices. If a leader values on-the-spot performance, offering money might be the key: Bonuses, commissions, stock options, etc. Or, if the leader wants a viable organization, but still values performance most of all, then providing a coach who focuses on effective performance is just right.
This CEO is also a mentor in our community program, and he made the connection between urgency, investment, values and mentoring. “Mentoring comes in when a leader feels that the sense of urgency needed has to come from within the person,” he said. “Investing in professional mentoring becomes an option when a leader feels that in order to meet this challenge, having a sense of urgency is a matter of how employees live their lives – because nothing short of a real commitment to the challenge will do.”
Leader mentoring helps a person to summon his or her own energies to meet the greatest challenges. It isn’t a matter of matching skills to tasks, but instead is a matter of reframing one’s sense of self so that it can take in all that is necessary in order to take a step forward into the unknown.
As my CEO friend said, a person may appreciate getting money in their pockets in the near term, but they will really, deeply and for a long time appreciate the recognition and development that a leader offered them by investing in mentoring for them. That investment lasts a lifetime. When a person is mentored to a new level of realization, urgency as a leader becomes a way of life. The mentee now looks for an opportunity to express his or her own sense of urgency.
For sure, investing in mentoring isn’t something every leader can or should do, and it isn’t the answer for every challenge that requires urgency. But when the chips are really down, and when the leader sees enlisting employees’ sense of urgency as the only way to meet the challenge, the investment in professional mentoring is a viable choice.
Mentoring is a specific way of engaging people with a leader who wants to share his or her sense of urgency. It’s an investment in creating peers in urgency, and colleagues in leading.
The New Development Resource
Michael Shenkman Introduces the Idea of Leader Mentoring
September 10, 2008 - 9:00 am
Doubletree Hotel, Waltham MA (Exit off Rte 128)
$45 at the door, $40 advance registration
Seating is limited - Register NOW!
Hear from Bonnie Gorbaty, Arch of Leadership Mentor and from some of her mentees.
Hear about the real life of leader mentoring, from both sides of the conversation.
All attendees receive a copy of Michael Shenkman's new book
Leader Mentoring: Find, Inspire, Cultivate Great Leaders (Career Press).
Click here to download information on this program.
Click here to register.