By Allan Ferguson
One of the biggest steps in becoming the best business leader you can be is the importance of finding mentors and coaches who challenge your thinking and personal development.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have several mentors over the years who have played a massive part in the success I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve and the lessons I’ve learned from these great people can be used by anyone.
It doesn’t matter the size of your business or success you’ve had, I recommend for every business manager to ask themselves who can be their mentor.
With the rise of the internet and sheer amount of coaching resources available it can be overwhelming about identifying what you need from a business mentor so I’d like to explain the role a mentor should be fulfilling for you.
A business mentor is someone who has experienced sustained success and you trust to give genuinely honest feedback on your actions and decision-making to challenge and improve your thinking.
Your mentor should be helping you identify the stages of your decision-making process, advising you of improvements you can be making and how your image is perceived by others.
It doesn’t matter if they are offering criticism or praise, this mentor is there to help you and you must be able to take this advice on board.
Trust me, being able to find mentors has made a huge difference in my business leadership development over the years.
I think most business owners have had a coach from time to time but too often in the end this sort of relationship fizzles out without any real lasting benefit, so serious commitment is required.
Am I the perfect business leader? No, but nobody is and knowing I’m constantly improving and getting this feedback on what I’m doing well and where I need to improve makes such a positive impact on my leadership.
Some small business leaders say to me with the information available and people ready to offer feedback it can be overwhelming for them.
My answer is it’s fine to be overwhelmed and in fact, this can be a great thing as you’re showing a willingness to take on information!
Just make sure your mentor is independent, successful and someone you can trust to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
Take your time in finding your mentor, but ensure you then consistently invest your time with the mentor!
Because without this guidance, you’ll never grow yourself or your business to full potential.
Allan Ferguson is the CEO of Service Professionals Australia.
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