The main difference between an administrator and a manager is that an administrator focuses on planning and organizing resources to deliver results.

A leader will inspire, motivate and influence people to achieve both their own goals – and goals for the company.

Listen to my recent podcast episode for more: https://podcasts.apple.com/no/podcast/the-talk-by-mentorguru/id1621845633?i=1000629899538

This episode is in Norwegian, but there are plenty of episodes in English.

Podcast: The talk – by Mentorguru

At Spotify, Apple podcast and Google podcast

Leadership When It Matters Most: Should Mentoring Be a Part of the Equation? – Part 1

Leadership is a critical component of any organization’s success, and it is never more apparent than in times of crisis or when important decisions need to be made. Whether it’s navigating a global pandemic, facing financial hardships, or dealing with a major industry disruption, effective leadership can make all the difference. But what role does mentoring play in leadership when it matters most? Should leaders prioritize mentorship during challenging times? This article explores the intersection of leadership and mentoring and highlights the benefits of incorporating mentoring into leadership practices during crucial moments.

The Importance of Leadership During Critical Times

Leadership is not just about guiding a team during smooth sailing; it’s about steering the ship through turbulent waters. When an organization faces a crisis or is confronted with a significant decision, strong and visionary leadership becomes paramount. Effective leaders must inspire confidence, provide direction, and offer solutions when the going gets tough. They must also maintain morale, communicate transparently, and adapt swiftly to changing circumstances.

Leadership, however, is not solely about the person in charge but extends to the team as a whole. Leaders are tasked with developing the skills and capabilities of their team members to ensure the organization can overcome challenges collectively.

The Role of Mentoring in Leadership

Mentoring is a practice that involves an experienced individual (the mentor) guiding and supporting a less-experienced person (the mentee) in their personal or professional development. While mentoring is often associated with career growth and skill-building, it also plays a crucial role in leadership development, particularly during times of crisis or important decision-making.

Here are some reasons why mentoring should be a part of leadership when it matters most:

  1. Knowledge Transfer: Mentoring allows experienced leaders to share their wisdom, knowledge, and expertise with emerging leaders. During critical moments, this knowledge transfer can be invaluable in making informed decisions and navigating complex situations.
  2. Emotional Support: Leadership during challenging times can be emotionally taxing. Mentoring provides a safe space for leaders to discuss their concerns, fears, and uncertainties with a trusted mentor, which can help alleviate stress and improve decision-making.
  3. Skill Development: Effective leaders possess a wide range of skills, including communication, adaptability, and problem-solving. Mentoring provides an opportunity for mentees to develop these skills under the guidance of experienced leaders.
  4. Accountability: Mentoring relationships often involve setting goals and tracking progress. This accountability can be particularly beneficial during high-stress periods, ensuring that leaders stay focused on their objectives.
  5. Perspective and Feedback: Mentors can offer valuable outside perspectives and honest feedback, helping leaders make more informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls.

Read my next blogpost where I write more about this theme.

How to be relevant at work in the future

It’s not just about keeping up with technology. Interpersonal skills will be at least as valuable to companies in the years to come

Yvonne Fosser wrote that in the new business magazine in Norway called AW (Asking Why).

I totally understand what she thinks and I really agree, and together with being update on your field of expertise. I got five tip for always stay relevant. And my tip no. 5 is maybe a bit strange, but if you have been in the business for a long time, try to get a young person to be your mentor. It’s called reverse mentoring.

1. Take responsibility, then you will get opportunities and you will gain trust.

2. Be constructively critical. Management needs input on what can go wrong, and suggestions for improvements

3. Be an active co-worker

4. Help your colleagues

5. Get a mentor, if you have worked for a long time consider reversed mentoring.

How to ask someone to be your mentor

Mentorship has a big impact on workplace wellness and productivity. Nine in 10 workers, 91%, who have a career mentor say they are happy in their jobs (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/16/nine-in-10-workers-who-have-a-mentor-say-they-are-happy-in-their-jobs.html ).
In contrast, four out of 10 professionals who don’t have a mentor have considered quitting in the last quarter.

«The benefits of mentorship are clear, so why doesn’t everyone have a mentor? Companies often create mentorship programs, but individuals may be left to choose for themselves whether they want to participate. And simply being assigned a mentor likely isn’t enough to foster a real difference in happiness at work via any of the measures noted above». Source CNBC.

It is important that the potential mentee get to choose to be in a mentoring program, because you have to get all in…

Try your best to be IN a mentoring program, get your company to start one if they don’t have one yet.

But after trying to get a mentoring program within your company, you still are on your own. Relax, here is the dos and don’ts. The source is GetSmarter.

Executive coaches help CEOs perform and survive

An article from Ray Williams in Financial Post

The job of a chief executive has never been more challenging or rewarding. Despite generous compensation, perks and attention it can be a lonely one. Which may be why boards and chief executives are increasingly turning to executive coaches to assist the heads of companies in their performance and growth and reduce attrition.

While earlier generations managed without coaches, leaders today face more pressures than at any other time. They must deal with rapidly changing markets, technologies and workforces, increased financial and legal scrutiny … and more. Top executives who feel that they can handle it by themselves are more likely to burn out, and make poor or no decisions, resulting in significant loss of opportunities, human resources and financial resources.

The CEO’s job is unique from several perspectives: No one else needs to hear the truth more, yet gets it less from employees; no one else is the focus of criticism when things go wrong; no one else is the final decision maker on difficult and often lose-lose decisions; and no one else enjoys the same type of hero-celebrity status and rewards.

According to the Harvard Business Review, two of every five new chief executives fail in their first 18 months on the job. And it appears the main reason for failure has nothing to do with competence, knowledge, or experience, but rather with hubris, ego and a leadership style out of touch with today.

Sydney Finkelstein, author of Why Smart Executives Fail, researched several spectacular failures during a six-year period. He concluded that these chief executives had similar deadly habits chiefly related to unchecked egos. David Dotlich and Peter C. Cairo, in their book, Why CEOs Fail: The 11 Behaviors That Can Derail Your Climb To The Top And How To Manage Them, present 11 cogent reasons why leaders fail, most of which have to do with hubris, ego and a lack of emotional intelligence. Call it overconfidence or ego, but powerful and successful leaders often distrust or feel they don’t need advice.

A study by Kelly See, Elizabeth Wolfe Morrison, and Naomi Rothman, published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision, concluded one characteristic of powerful and successful leaders is high levels of self-confidence. Unfortunately, the researchers say, the higher the self-confidence, the less likely these leaders are open to advice and feedback. They also note that powerful leaders seldom get useful feedback at their organizations. See and her colleagues contend that the enormous stress leaders are under often produce anxiety, fear and physical illness, which strong leaders are hesitant to divulge over concern judgments may be made about their capacities.

One reason for this leadership crisis may be the gaps between how leaders see themselves and how others see them. Call it self-awareness. These blind spots can be career limiting. The wider the gap, the more resistance to change. It also makes it difficult to create a positive organizational culture where openness and honesty are encouraged.

Paul Michelman, writing in the Harvard Business Review Working Knowledge, says most major companies now make coaching a core of their executive development programs. The belief is one-on-one personal interaction with an objective third party can provide a focus other forms of organizational support cannot. A 2004 study by Right Management Consultants found 86% of companies used coaches in their leadership development program.

Marshall Goldsmith, a high-profile coach to leaders in Fortune 500 companies and author of The Leader of the Future, argues leaders need coaches when “they feel that a change in behaviour — either for themselves or their team members — can make a significant difference in the long-term success of the organization.”

Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive of Google, said his best advice to new CEOs is to have a coach“Once I realized I could trust him [the coach] and that he could help me with perspective, I decided this was a great idea…” he said. While he admits the cost of executive coaches, particularly a good one, is not cheap, he adds “compared to the decisions CEOs make, money is not the issue.”

“If you have a new perspective, if you feel better with your team, the board and the marketplace, then you have received real value,” Schmidt says.

Executives who rise to the C-suite do so largely based upon their ability to consistently make sound decisions. However while it may take years of solid decision-making to reach the boardroom it often times takes one bad decision to fall from the ivory tower. The reality is that in today’s competitive business world an executive is only as good as his/her last decision, or their ability to stay ahead of contemporaries and competitors,” Mike Myatt writes in an article, The Benefits of a Top CEO Coach.

Despite its popularity, many senior executives are reluctant to report they have a coach, says Jonathan Schwartz, former president and chief executive of Sun Microsystems, who had an executive coach.

While board members can be helpful, most leaders shy away from talking to the board about their deepest uncertainties, argues John Kador, in CEO Magazine. Other CEOs can lend an ear, but there are barriers to complete honesty and trust. “No one in the organization needs an honest, close and long-term relationship with a trusted advisor more than a CEO,” writes Kador, who reports conversations with several high-profile CEOs.

The much asked question about coaching is its return on investment. The majority of studies including one by Joy McGovern and her colleagues at  research firm Manchester, indicate that executives who received coaching valued the service between $100,000 and $1-million. Joyce Russell, the Dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland contends that assigning a coach to an executive is nowviewed as a privilege and a sign the organization values the executive’s contributions and is willing to invest money in his or her growth and development.

In my Financial Post articles, Top Dogs are Lonely,The Second Fastest Growing Profession and The Seven Deadly Habits of CEOs, I outlined what is now common practice for chief executives — hiring a personal executive coach — and how it helps them perform better. Professional executive coaches can help leaders improve performance, reduce or eliminate their blind spots and be open to constructive feedback, not only reducing the likelihood of failure, and premature burnout but also providing an atmosphere in which the executive can express fears, failures and dreams.

Ray Williams is President of Ray Williams Associates, a company based in Vancouver providing leadership training and executive coaching services. He can be reached at ray@raywilliamsassociates.com

What are high achievers doing to win in 2015?

One thing I’ve noticed about high achievers is that they all share a lot of commonalities. They all have habits that make them unique, but I find many similarities when it comes to the things that bring them success.

I recently asked almost thirty different high achievers to tell me what they do to set themselves up for success in the New Year. People like Tony Robbins, Dave Ramsey, Jeff Walker, John Maxwell, and Chris Brogan all let me peek into their year-end process.

After studying their responses, I identified eight commonalities. You can look at these like best practices for getting a jump on the New Year.

By far, the most consistent practice high achievers share to set themselves up for a great year is to reflect on the current one. It came up again and again in their answers.

Doing business with this year is crucial for success in the next.

Tony Robbins keeps a journal of “accomplishments and magic moments” that he revisits. He told me he captures standout moments throughout the year and draws principles from these to set his goals for the New Year.

John Maxwell blocks the last week of the year for reflection. He focuses on the events of last twelve months. Why? “Evaluated reflection turns experience into insight,” he said. And that insight paves the path for what’s next.

If a week seems like a long time for this exercise, Skip Pritchard and Daniel Harkavy both do it in just a day.

But it’s a critical twenty-four hours for the next year. “This time sets me up best to make the critical decisions I need to make to live the most purposeful life I can in the year ahead,” said Daniel.

This review process was a little different for each, but most seemed to focus on what went right, what went wrong, and what could be learned for the upcoming year. In those responses were thoughts about the importance of staying positive and expressing gratitude—which leads directly to the other best practices.

– Michael Hyatt


Get the free e-book here

Are You Afraid to Set Goals for 2015 – here is why

Joy is one of hardest feelings to hold onto, isn’t it? Fear is always crouching nearby ready to snatch it from us.

In Daring Greatly Brené Brown talks about “foreboding joy,” the idea that some sort of disaster looms just around the corner no matter how promising things look for the moment. Instead of experiencing joy, even when things are going well, we feel worry, fear, and dread.

I think this reality is especially problematic when it comes to setting goals for the future. We’re afraid—afraid we’ll fail or that others will fail us. It’s safer not to get our hopes up.

The end result is that we’re rarely disappointed. But at what cost? Brown’s research would say that the cost is joy, happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, and a wholehearted life.

Is that true for you? It’s sometimes true for me. I can’t count the number of times I’ve let worry and dread steal my joy.

What if You Could Kick Fear to the Curb?

Whenever I let fear do the talking, hope always loses the argument. But what if we could gag our fears long enough to dream, and then a little longer to turn those dreams into actionable goals that might actually change our lives for the better?

Think about your family, your finances, your health, your career, or that dream you locked away months or even years ago because it felt too remote, too impossible. What could happen if you could build a plan, starting right now, that was proven to move the needle in the areas of your life that matter most?

Here’s what I know from years of coaching others and my own personal experience: The key reason most of us feel this sense of fear when it comes to goal-setting is that we’ve tried before and failed.

But here’s something else I know: It’s not your fault. It’s the fault of a faulty system. The truth is that traditional New Year’s resolutions and goal setting don’t really work.

5 Days to Your Best Year Ever

That’s why I’ve created 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, a proven and powerful goal-setting process that helps you kick fear to the curb, reconnect with your dreams, and finally realize your potential.

And it does a lot more, too. In 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever I reveal how to:

  • Get crystal clear about what you want in the next twelve months and how you’re going to get there.
  • Confront doubt and see the real possibility of breakthrough in your personal and professional life.
  • Close the door on the nagging, negative feelings from the past so you can set yourself up for success in the present.
  • Take the mystery out of setting effective, reasonable, and achievable goals.
  • Connect with your why so you can tap reserves of emotional energy and motivation when things get difficult and conquer the “messy middle” once and for all.
  • Finally beat worry, procrastination, and that horrible feeling we all experience of being overwhelmed or simply not enough.

– Michael Hyatt

In the next article I will show you Michael Hyatt`s plan you can use for 2015.

5 Keys to Develop a Plan for Success

When you look at successful people, you will almost always discover a plan behind their success.  They know what they want, they work out a strategy that will get them where they want to go, and they work that plan.  It is the foundation for success.

So what are some good ideas on developing a plan that will work well and take you to the finish line powerfully and in style?  Here are some major points to keep in mind:

  1. Develop the right plan for you.  Your plan is the one you’ll develop that is unique to you and for you.  Each of us is unique and motivated by different factors and you’ve got to develop one that is right for you and fits you.  Whatever your personality, your strengths and your weaknesses, develop the plan around them.  This is not a one-plan-fits-all proposition.
  1. Keep a journal.  Record the ideas and inspiration that will carry you from where you are to where you want to be.  Take note on the ideas that impact you most.  Brainstorm with yourself on where you are going and what you want to do.  Record your dreams and ambitions.  Your journals are a gathering place for all the valuable information that you will find.
  1. Reflect.  Create time for reflection ‒ a time to go back over, to study again the things you’ve learned and the things you’ve done each day.  Take a few minutes at the end of each day and go back over the day ‒ who’d you talk to, who’d you see, what did they say, what happened, how’d you feel, what went on?  A day is a piece of the mosaic of your life.
  1. Set goals.  Your plan is the roadmap for how you are going to get to your goals so you have to have them.  Setting goals is the greatest influence on a person’s future and the greatest force that will pull a person in the direction that they want to go.  But the future must be planned, well designed, to exert a force that pulls you towards the promise of what can be.
  1. Act on your plan.  What separates the successful from the unsuccessful so many times is that the successful simply do it.  They take action.  They aren’t necessarily smarter than others; they just work the plan.  All disciplines affect each other…. Everything affects everything.  That’s why the smallest action is important ‒ because the value and benefits that you receive from that one little action will inspire you to do the next one and the next one.  So step out and take action on your plan because if the plan is good, then the results can be miraculous.

— Jim Rohn

What to do before you got a mentor

People who had used a mentor says that it was difficult to exact know what they want out of a mentor. One way is to try to find out what kind of experience and what you want to learn, once itś over. And during the first meeting things use to get clearer.

One of my own tip is to try to put together a plan for the next 3 month and for the next year, a sort of life plan. You can f.ex. read and listen to Michael Hyatt and what he means about the subject: Michael Hyatt

«With Creating Your Personal Life Plan, Michael Hyatt has fired A LASER BEAM OF FOCUS into a world of uncertainty. Finally, a brightly lit, well-marked pathway for the person who desires true and lasting success!”

New York Times Bestselling Author
The Traveler’s Gift, The Noticer, and The Final Summit