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There is no doubt that engaging a mentor can add real value to next all business leaders, managers and next generation family business members. Unfortunately there are both good and not so good mentors. Choosing someone who does not understand the emotions that often drive a business can create even more problems.
My comments are aimed at family owned enterprises . More than 85% of all business are family owned.
We are bombarded by people calling themselves business coaches, advisors and mentors, many of whom charge large fees and have no experience in family dynamics. They often promise the world and deliver very little. In fact they sometime make the situation worse if they fail to win the hearts and minds of both generations in a family business. I always ensure that if a younger family member requests mentoring they have the approval of their parents first. Many baby boomers owners often don’t understand why a younger family member would need to seek advice from an outsider and not from them.
Golf is a great example. You never see a professional golfer playing a tournament without a caddy. The caddy knows the golfer inside out, knows how they make decisions and, in many case, helps them make a decision on the course. An experienced caddy knows what lies ahead, knows the golfer’s ability and generally has worked with other pros and can make suggestions and comparisons based on that experience. They have walked the course in the early morning and know where pins are placed and any new hazards.
Wkipedia describes a caddy as : The person who carries a players bag and clubs, and gives insightful advice and moral support. A good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it.
That is no different on how you can use a trusted mentor in business.
For further information call me on 0411 536 424 or email email@example.com
Principal - Bill Winter Advisory - Families in Business
I am a well known business specialist working with and advising families in business. As a past business owner and corporate CEO I establish and Chair family business advisory panels. Experienced facilitator of inter-generational family meetings and succession planning workshops. All recent research highlights that succession is now the number one issue facing families in business as the owners / founders are ready to exit. I am a safe pair of hands when it comes to taking the emotion out of the relationships between family members. In addition I have acted as an interim CEO as the growing family business begins the process of employing external senior staff to take on key management positions.