Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mentoring Works

A year or so before the global financial crisis I was approached by a local executive of a multi-national company. He was in his early 40's and had been in his role for about 3 years. Colin had all the trappings of success. He earned a high salary, had a nice home on Sydney's north shore, drove a top of the range car, his children went to private schools, and the family could holiday overseas whenever they wished. He saw himself as a future CEO. His friends thought he had it made.

But Colin was worried. He was responsible for Asia-Pacific aspects of the company. This entailed constant travel in the area as well as frequent visits to Europe for meetings at Head Office - he was travelling a little over 3 weeks out of 4. He had reached the point of considering changing jobs because he felt he was losing touch with his wife and children.

We discussed his situation and alternatives. He loved his job but was asking whether the rewards were worth the impact it was having on his family life. It was a question of life priorities. Was it possible to stay where he was and still fulfil his role as a husband and father in the way that he wanted to?

We worked through these issues over succeeding months and increasingly involved both his boss and his wife in the process.

As a result of these discussions it became clear to everyone that changes were necessary in the expectations and practices of all parties. It also became clear that Colin wasn't the only executive feeling stress over these issues and that resolving them could have a positive impact on the company as well as on the individuals. It wasn't easy but by the time the gfc hit we had in place changes that helped ensure stability and profitability.

We are now working on issues that will ensure continued growth. Stress levels caused by role conflict between job and family life have gone and the executives operate as a harmonious team. Staff turnover across the company has stabilised and employee satisfaction surveys show a positive workforce.

Last week Colin was promoted and his family is about to move to Europe for a few years. They're very excited.

In the company. mentoring has become an essential component of the development process at all levels.

More information about Douglas G Long, and how I can help you, at

No comments:

Post a Comment