How to Forge a Mentoring Relationship

How to Forge a Mentoring Relationship.

–by Patrick Cook-Deegan, syndicated from Greater Good,

Intergenerational mentoring carries many benefits, but it’s becoming more and more rare. Here are some tips for renewing an age-old practice.

When I was in high school, I had a lot of big questions.

I wanted to know if it was possible to devote your life to your work without compromising your integrity. I wanted to know how to be a powerful man without being a jerk. And I could not understand why so many adults seemed to be okay with the systematic injustices that plagued my hometown.

I read dozens of biographies as a teenager, in search of some answers. But for many years, I did not feel safe talking to an adult about any of this, for fear of being told I was crazy. I craved a deep connection with someone from an older generation who would hear my questions, sympathize with my confusion, and perhaps even set me on a path toward some satisfying answers.

Fortunately, the father of one my best friends took an interest in me. He was a quirky guy: He had messy gray hair, always smiled, and lived in a funky house in the woods. He was curious and caring toward me without ever being overbearing or judgmental. He seemed different from the other adults. He seemed at peace with himself, his family, his work, and the world. As a young person I understood that he had something that I wanted: a sense of belonging, of being at home in the world. My relationship with my friend’s dad opened up a whole new world for me outside the confines of traditional suburban Maryland.

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Family Businesses Need Entrepreneurs For Long-Run Success

Family Businesses need to create second/third generation entrepreneurs. Can Founders becoming great mentors?

Tony Bury

Family Businesses Need Entrepreneurs For Long-Run Success
BY MICHAEL J. ROBERTS AND JOHN A. DAVIS

In the world of family business, the entrepreneurs we celebrate are usually founders of companies. These clever, hardworking individuals identify a good business opportunity, scrape together some money and loyal employees, and start a company that takes off. The heirs of the founder and later generations of the family are supposed to take care of and grow the founder’s creation; they are not expected to be entrepreneurs themselves. Even attempting to reinvent the family company can be seen as disloyal by the family.

This constraint often kills the family business.

We think it is time to reassess the importance of entrepreneurs for not only the continuation of the family company, but for the continued success of the family itself.

Managers inside your core business who think like entrepreneurs (we call them intrapreneurs) can identify opportunities that move your family company into new lines of business, rejuvenate the founder’s legacy, and put the enterprise on a new growth path. Entrepreneurs (typically family members) working outside the business but with family financial support can keep talented kin inside a broader “family enterprise,” diversify business activities, and build assets.

Families that want to stay in business for another generation don’t have a choice except to encourage entrepreneurship in and out of their company. There are business reasons and family reasons why we think this is true.

The Business Reasons

In today’s competitive environment of rapid technological change and quickly evolving industries, it doesn’t pay to become too attached to current lines of business or methods for serving customer needs. You need to regularly change what you make and sell, and probably how you make and sell it. You must be nimble and, as certain lines of business wane, be able to identify growth opportunities in and out of the core industry and pursue them in experimental, cost-effective ways. For that, you need the risk-taking, resourceful attitude of an entrepreneur.

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Source: Forbes

John Oneil’s “Future of Learning”

John Oneil has always been a visionary. Here he shares his vision of the “future of learning”.

Founders, fathers and daughters

Having the great pleasure of working with my daughter “Kat” made me greatly appreciate this article!

Founders, fathers and daughters
By Chris Tighe

Conversation flows effortlessly between John Elliott and Pamela Petty, as they talk in the boardroom at Ebac, a family-run manufacturer in north east England. They pick up each other’s points and explore tangential thoughts in easy exchange.

It is like listening to a family chat. And in a sense it is, because Mr Elliott and Ms Petty are father and daughter, as well as leading a team that aims to treble Ebac’s £20m an­nual turnover by reviving UK production of chest freezers and washing machines.

“Your strengths are more of an engineering background, mine are more business [and] numbers,” says Ms Petty, 46-year-old managing director and financial director, to Mr Elliott, 70-year-old chairman and founder. Product development is where Mr Elliott’s strengths lie, she says. “We think the best ideas come from dad.”

Mr Elliott, whose technical expertise made Ebac an early entrant into the dehumidifier and water cooler sectors in the 1970s, looks pensive: “I recognise I’m not a very good manager. I don’t finish things off.”

Ms Petty says: “I’ve never worried about whether somebody thinks I’m better than him or he is better than me. We’re different.” The age gap means he will always be more experienced but, she says, “there are probably some things I understand better”. She pauses, then says: “I can’t think of them.” But her father knows her strengths: “Your performance, your delivery,” he chips in.

Mr Elliott’s other daughter, Amanda Hird, arrives. As operations director she too spent years working her way up to senior roles at Ebac. “There are people who think you’re there because of who you are, [so] you have to build respect,” she says.

“Father & Son”, a familiar combination all over the world, has existed for centuries. “Father & Daughter” is rare. Yet, in recent years, fathers and daughters working together, sometimes with daughter eventually succeeding father, has become more common. This, says Denise Kenyon-Rouv­inez, a professor and co-director of IMD business school’s family business centre, is the case around the world.

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Source: Financial Times, 01 July 2014

Lessons learned in his first 80 years by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Thoroughly enjoyed reflecting upon how true so many of these insights are.
Great reading for all young and old people !

Enjoy reading…

Blackstone’s Byron Wien Discusses Lessons Learned in His First 80 Years

Fantastic Arab and Persian Students are by passing their governments educational establishments to learn

Breakfast Before the MOOC

Article by Thomas L. Friedman

The New York Times

Beginning March 2, Prof. Hossam Haick, will teach the first ever massive open online course, or MOOC, on nanotechnology in Arabic. What’s more interesting, though, he explained to me the other day over breakfast is some of the curious email he’s received from students registering for his MOOC from all over the Arab world. Their questions include: Are you a real person? Are you really an Arab, or are you an Israeli Jew speaking Arabic, pretending to be an Arab? That’s because Haick is an Israeli Arab from Nazareth and will be teaching this course from his home university, the Technion, Israel’s premier science and technology institute, and the place we were having breakfast was Tel Aviv.

His course is entitled Nanotechnology and Nanosensors and is designed for anyone interested in learning about Haick’s specialty: “novel sensing tools that make use of nanotechnology to screen, detect, and monitor various events in either our personal or professional life.” The course includes 10 classes of 3 to 4 short lecture videos — in Arabic and English — and anyone with an Internet connection can tune in and participate for free in the weekly quizzes, forum activities and do a final project.

If you had any doubts about the hunger for education in the Middle East today, Haick’s MOOC will dispel them. So far, there are about 4,800 registrations for the Arabic version, including students from Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and the West Bank. Iranians are signing up for the English version. Because the registration is through the Coursera MOOC website, some registrants initially don’t realize the course is being taught by an Israeli Arab scientist at the Technion, said Haick, and when they do, some professors and students “unregister.” But most others are sticking with it. (MOOC’s have just started to emerge in the Arab world via Coursera, edX, Edraak, Rwaq, SkillAcademy and MenaVersity — some with original content, much still translated.)

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Why Mentoring is such a Powerful Concept

“Fixing and helping create a distance between people, but we cannot serve at a distance. We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected”. –Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen

Helping, Fixing or Serving?

–by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, syndicated from shambhalasun.com, Apr 16, 2012

Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.

Service rests on the premise that the nature of life is sacred, that life is a holy mystery which has an unknown purpose. When we serve, we know that we belong to life and to that purpose. From the perspective of service, we are all connected: All suffering is like my suffering and all joy is like my joy. The impulse to serve emerges naturally and inevitably from this way of seeing.

Serving is different from helping. Helping is not a relationship between equals. A helper may see others as weaker than they are, needier than they are, and people often feel this inequality. The danger in helping is that we may inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them; we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity or even wholeness.

When we help, we become aware of our own strength. But when we serve, we don’t serve with our strength; we serve with ourselves, and we draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve; our wounds serve; even our darkness can serve. My pain is the source of my compassion; my woundedness is the key to my empathy.

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Helping, Fixing or Serving?
http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=218

Expanding the Canvas and Finding the Compass: The Role of Meditation in Decision Making

By RICARDO B LEVY: Technical innovation is often at the heart of an entrepreneurial venture. The leader’s role is to create the right environment to facilitate and foster such innovation. This requires bringing together people of different skills and specializations, ideally individuals more competent than the leader in their areas of expertise, very comfortable pushing the boundaries of the unknown in their particular domain. Their domain risk tolerance is likely to be very high.

What the leader needs to recognize is that the risk tolerance of the expert in his or her area of specialization may not apply to their tolerance of the uncertainties in other aspects of the entrepreneurial venture. For example, a scientist who may be one of the best in the world at creating new photovoltaic materials and be very at ease with the inherent uncertainty of the discovery of new PV compounds may be very un-easy with the challenges of financing or selling. Just think of the un-ease that scientist may feel when confronted with only a six-month cash runway. The role of the leader is to absorb any extraneous uncertainty that may get in the way of the expert team member, freeing that individual to do the best job possible, to do the job unbridled.

Taking responsibility for the full uncertainty of the company is the logical task of the leader in an entrepreneurial organization. After all, the senior executive has the whole company in his or her hands, and is the one person most aware of all the known factors affecting the destiny of the company. That is the nature of the office. But how does a leader cope with such a large burden?

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Skoll World Forum (SWF) 2011 – A personal reflection

This was my first visit to the SWF and having had the experience of the Celebration of Entrepreneurship (CoE) in Dubai in November 2011 was really excited about the prospect for my days. I arrived home on Friday evening 1/4/2011, satisfied, exhausted, inspired, energised, humbled, full of learning, connected with so many great people I met and I would like to share my key takeaways.

Many of the key sessions are filmed and on the SWF website www.skollworldforum.org

1. Deep Leadership (Video available) – a great session with number of interesting perspectives including those of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Upon reflection, my own believe after some further thought and analysis is a hypothesis utilising the Heroes Journey. Each time you go through the “storm” within the journey you gain an understanding of your own humanity. By repeatedly going through and coming out of the storm successfully, you increase and enhance your own personal well of “deep leadership”.

Furthermore there is definitely a clear correlation between deep leadership and spirituality however we seem too shy to make the connection!!!!!!!

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Mentoring in Critical Times – EMCC UK Conference

As you all know, I have spent a great deal of time lately promoting the value of mentoring through The Mowgli Foundation. Through this hard work, an exciting opportunity has arisen which I would like to share with you.

On the 29th March 2011, Martin Carver and I will be presenting the Keynote speech considering Mentoring in Critical Times at the 5th Annual Mentoring and Coaching Conference being hosted by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. The two day conference, will be held at the Holiday Inn, Kensington in London (UK). In addition; Simon Edwards, past CEO of the Mowgli Foundation, will be presenting a master class entitled “Your Mentoring Story”.

Both of these events will provide a challenging look at how mentoring can be used effectively within organisations and business, especially when we find ourselves in times of such massive change.

We are particularly interested in the question ‘Why are entrepreneurs so important to our communities and society?’. We will consider my journey as a serial entrepreneur through the establishment of various start-ups coupled with the personal challenges that arise from life.

Our presentation will focus in particular on the following areas:

  • When does the intervention of a mentor provide maximum value to an entrepreneur?
  • What are the critical stages for mentoring in the life of entrepreneur?
  • What mentoring lessons can be learnt from such an entrepreneur’s journey?

To find out more about this exciting event, please visit the EMCC UK Conference Website at: http://ukconference.org/ for more information.