Friday, 7 December 2012

Tips from the Top

For nearly two years, when I first joint the CIPR body - due to my interest in the Internal Communications and Employee Engagement qualifications that they provide - I have been receiving the PRWeek magazine by post on every Friday (including today Friday 7th December). Being myself interested in the subject of leadership I like reading the section 'Profile' which is included in the paper. 

'Profile' is a section dedicated to leaders of the industry, people that have been able to succeed and climb to the top of the career ladder (there is one profile every week).
These leaders share their experiences and describe what made them become successful (their ambitions, their vision, their goals, their overcome challenges, their achievements). What I do most like about the article, is the short column at the bottom of it. It is titled 'Tips from the Top'.

In particular, I like going through two questions (and indeed, their answers) that are asked the leaders:
  1. Have you had a notable mentor?
  2. What advice would you give to people climbing the career ladder?

It is interesting to see what these leaders perceive as having been the qualities of their mentors, those people who contributed in some way or other to help them develop and succeed.
Equally, it is of interest to see what they suggest the next generation of potential leaders to do in order to become successful (lessons that they have learnt during their career journey).

Today I did a little bit of research from the latest magazines (from October 2012 to present) and gathered all the answers to those two questions together.

Below is a summary:

Answers to question 1: Have you had a notable mentor?
(Among the 'mentors' category' there are previous bosses, managers, colleagues and even relatives)

A notable mentor:

I have had different mentors...I have been lucky enough to work with some brilliant people along the way”;

The energy and passion he had for what he did inspired me, as did his loyalty and his vision”;

They have given me huge amounts of time, as well as support and loyalty, even when things went wrong”;

He always gave solid commercial advice... His explanation about what makes clients happy”;

When I first began working with him, I thought he was a genius. He encouraged me and mentored me throughout”;

A really inspiring man who was great fun to work for...it was a formative time for me”;

She has shared the highs and lows, and has been involved in every major business decision I have taken”;

Unflappable, dedicated to clients and the best man to have in your corner when I crisis hit


Answers to question 2: What advice would you give to people climbing the career ladder? 


Don't focus too much on trying to climb the ladder – focus instead on doing the best work you are capable of, being creative and thinking differently, and the ladder will follow”;

Be true to yourself, learn from any mistakes that you make, and always make sure you understand the context within which you are working – never let go of the bigger picture”;

Choose who you work for and stick up for what you believe in. Do that and you won't go far wrong”;

Don't understimate the importance of being a good listener; work hard; be enthusiastic about the success of clients”;

Learn something new from each person you meet. It's about having a wider view”;

Be really good at what you do and take some risks. The best people will succeed”;

Question everything. Listen more than you speak. Never assume”;

Have opinions

I like reading these pieces of advice. I find some of them very inspirational and useful.

Why not using some of them in our own career journey (the more suitable to ourselves and the place where we work)?

Also, have we ever thought about having a mentor in order to be supported during the career journey (if we don't have one already)? Can we think on someone who can be a mentor for us (a manager, a more experienced colleague, a professional outside the organisation...)?

Or instead, if we were to be managers, have we ever thought about the possibility of being great mentors for our reports and really help them achieve their potential? 

Would not that be the best for ourselves, the other and the organisation as a whole?