“Be Better Than Yesterday!”

Some 25 years ago, while in introspection regarding my life’s mission and purpose, and following my first years in P&G, I was hit by a thriving motto: “Be Better Than Yesterday” (thank you Henry!). And since then I have been living every day following this commitment and attitude!

At first, I thought that this continuous improvement of myself would make me stronger (it did and will continue doing so) and that this would be enough to achieve my life’s goals.

Very soon, growing as manager, I realized the vital importance of interdependency, the power of teams and responsibility. That we are more and more connected, that changes are happening very fast in this VUCA world, so, I shifted the focus from myself to my team and to the people around me. I spread my motto to my entire team, and I made developing and positively influencing the people I work with my personal mission!

“Traditional leadership is about standing out; modern leadership is about staying connected.”  Gianpiero Petriglieri 

Last February I had the privilege to join K.M.Trust & Partners where I found synergies between our missions, values and especially purpose. Not to mention new inspirations and avenues, which further committed me to my motto and mission.

While growing in my managerial roles, and now as leadership development coach and consultant, I always reinforced the fact that there is nothing more important than developing and growing our people! And this is not only an imperative for getting better results, it is also fundamental for growing better people, for growing our citizenship and for being a meaningful and a better contributor to our community.

In this journey, from the hiring experience to the motivation environment and activities, from the buddy to the mentoring programs, from  self-development to the feedback /feedforward process, from on the job coaching to the performance evaluation systems and employee experience, your efforts will be very rewarding, and you will find  tremendous personal satisfaction.

Among the above-mentioned programs for people development, one aspect that I would like to emphasize further is the importance of mentoring.

I recall my mentors with great pleasure and high recognition and all my mentees with joy, pride and responsibility– nothing is more rewarding than positively influencing and inspiring people -being a ‘lighthouse’ in their journey! 

So, through mentoring relations you will be able to further develop the undigitized skills of your employees. And skills such as critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and social intelligence are critical to the 21st century workforce, but often are harder to develop in people than technical skills.

And even more, mentoring connects employees with your most valuable resource – other employees!

Mentoring is also a strategy to build employee loyalty, keep the best people and provide the context for learning. For its success, mentoring must be personal and not bureaucratic (another HR process…).

 “The world is changing so deeply and quickly that we don't know what it will look like when our children are adults. But in a digitalized, automated and robotic world, people live through what makes them people: through emotions, spontaneity, intuition, imagination, curiosity, spirituality, free will. Fortunately, these cannot be digitized.”  Solomon Marcus

Another interesting avenue of mentoring, pioneered by Jack Welch in 1999, is reverse mentoring.

Reverse mentoring refers to the concept of a more experienced employee seeking out an early career employee for mentoring around a specific topic, like technology, for example.

A very suggestive example of reverse mentoring is illustrated by Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in “The Intern” movie. 

So, reverse mentoring will help executives stay abreast of technological advancements, improve intergenerational relationships, increase millennial retention and contribute to diversity and inclusion efforts.

As briefly highlighted, mentoring, if done correctly and sponsored by the company board, has very tangible benefits for both mentors and mentees and overall for the entire organization. 

“77% of Fortune 500 companies with mentorship programs believe they improve employee retention and performance” Survey of Fortune 500 companies

By including mentoring in workforce development efforts, communities and businesses can earn a greater return on investment in their overall training and development efforts.

“A coach has some great questions for your answers;a mentor has some great answers for your questions”

Business will always be challenging, so for playing and winning in the top league and for keeping your competitive advantage, go back to your organization and commit to continuous people development and … they will take care of your business!

“Be Better Than Yesterday!”

 

Resources:

  • “Power Mentoring How Mentors and Protégés Get The Most Out of Their Relationships” - Ellen Ensher and Susan Murphy, 2005
  • “Mentoring 101” - John C. Maxwell, 2008
  • “Designing Workplace Mentor Programs: An Evidence-Based Approach” - Tammy D. Allen, Lisa M. Finkelstein, Mark L. Poteet, 2009
  • “How Will You Measure Your Life” – Clayton M. Christensen, 2010
  • “The Importance of Mentoring Programs” - Kathleen Conroy, January 2020
  • “Reverse Mentoring: 3 Proven Outcomes Driving Change” - Jason Wingard, August 2018
  • Mentoring Complete site

 


Author

Florin Popa

Partner

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