Though we seldom refer to the Renaissance in business, when I think of mentorship it’s this word that comes to mind.
At university, my studies focussed on Renaissance history – a period with a rich culture of patronage, helping others both in industry art and religion. This reciprocity translated personally through identity and prestige to mentorship. It is a vital force that has shaped my career through experience with industry leaders, their generous time and advice, and through the tough love they often metered out.
Here are five key insights that I have gained through my experience.
- Seek different mentors for different career stages.
- My first professional mentor was Rodney Brott, a finance and banking professional. His maxim every morning was “read the research” which had farther reaching implications of being at work early, being diligent, ahead of the curve, informed and thorough.
- Later Gil Hoskins, ex head of National Mutual was a critical part in my transition into property development. Though we work in a collaborative structure at Lechte Corporation, there is no doubt that my fellow directors Peter and Jennifer Lechte have played crucial roles in my growth in the property development industry.
- My father was a Master at Scotch College and lecturer at Monash University. I was lucky enough to have experiences with him not only as a father and mentor, but to see him first hand within his profession both at Scotch and later at Monash.
- Lastly, John McIntosh, the founder of McIntosh Securities, is someone I look up to as a successful business man. He always says to his children that life wasn’t meant to be easy, however it should always be enjoyable. To try to find happiness in success, and occasionally stop and smell the roses.
- It is more than a professional development day.
- Mentoring is a daily and ongoing process. It is a relationship that shows us that successful people are not perfect people, and that life creates opportunities and obstacles in equal measure which we can both bear and overcome.
- It is essential to have mentors from all works of life.
- From professional development, to community mindedness, to self-help and mental fortitude, having a wide net of mentors is key. Mine have come from multiple disciplines, and their breadth of experience has sharpened my expertise. It is this precise expertise that enables me to lead in the capacity I do today at Lechte Corporation.
- Mentorship is about more than just getting ahead as an individual.
- Monitorship goals are equally important in giving something back to the community.
- At a charity and social leadership level I have great respect for people like Sam Soliman, a professional boxing athlete who also works with the Salvation Army. I also hold in great regard Kent Morris who has established an Indigenous arts program. These are two individuals who Lechte is proud to support in their community-based endeavours and professional growth.
- Start today.
- You do not have to wait to participate in a set programme to benefit from mentoring. Align yourself to people who inspire you and who you can get access to. Give your time and energy to them, and over time build a relationship with them. If you can’t do this directly, go forth imitating their admirable qualities from afar.
Above all else, mentorship has taught me to be resilient. To have persistence in life. To learn from mistakes, and to be patient and caring in trying times.
I believe my diverse experience gives me great value as a mentor, and I am proud to be able to share what I have learned.