Every leader will know how important their own skill set is in helping the business grow. Ultimately, a leader needs to have the knowledge, insights and critical thinking abilities to support their broader strategy.
For leaders, it can also be very lonely at the top, especially if they don’t have an objective source of feedback within the organisation. Finding a source of objective feedback is therefore important for a leader to find.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to invest in business mentoring. A mentor can provide important feedback on business decisions as well as support for leaders as they look to improve their performance.
For this reason, it’s important to see mentoring as a business issue as well as one of personal development.
How can a mentor help a business?
There are a number of key areas where mentoring can help a leader, including:
- Holding a leader to account for the decisions they make.
- Providing a source of impartial feedback on your business goals.
- Asking tough questions that you might not yet have answers for.
The purpose behind mentoring isn’t to provide you with someone to come in and solve issues in your business like a consultant might. Instead, it’s about offering you a sounding board for your ideas and issues, all originating from an impartial perspective.
Mentoring and networking can also help you make better decisions, with recent research suggesting it might even make you more creative.
Building connections can make you more creative
Creating connections with people, especially those who can help you grow in your own role, can have many benefits, at least according to a study from the Australian National University and Rice University in the US, among others.
The research found that, as well as a person’s direct network, their indirect network of people who know their connections can be valuable for sparking creativity. In other words, engaging with people who also have a lot of connections can help to improve the quality of your own thinking.
‘The cross-fertilisation of ideas depends not just on access to information and insights through one’s direct network – the people one actually interacts with – but at least as much on access to the indirect network one’s direct ties connect to,’ stated the study’s authors.
Working with a mentor who has the connections to support your own work is therefore a valuable networking tool that can help you to access new ideas and insights through their connections.
With so many benefits, maybe it’s time you thought about whether mentoring is a business issue that you are focussed on?