Be a Coach, Request a Mentor, Develop Your Skills, Grow
Published by Derek Lundsten on 4/25/2016
Mentoring, Coaching, Feedback: We all need it and we can all benefit from it. Yet how many of us are open to it, or seek it out? Conversely, maybe you undervalue yourself thinking you don’t have the proper skills, insights, or knowledge to offer, and/or are afraid to ask for help?
I especially raise this topic, in light of the recent passing of Bill Campbell, legendary Silicon Valley executive and to a group of highly successful entrepreneurs…MENTOR. He is known for advising the who-who’s of tech leaders, including Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, John Doerr, and so many others. His eulogies are inspiring from across Silicon Valley – everyone from venture capitalists to entrepreneurs – men and women, young and tenured. His impact on the Valley’s leaders and even its culture is widespread to the point where Apple delayed its earnings announcement to not overlap with his memorial service.
Mentors do matter. Coaching matters, even in business. Even as Eric Schmidt acknowledged from his early days at Google when reflecting on Campbell’s work, “my immediate reaction was, why would I need a coach?” Instead, he notes, “Mr. Campbell offered his mentorship for free because he wanted to give back to the tech world and help others. He would embrace everyone in a room.” (wsj.com – 4.18.16) Today, Schmidt is the Executive Chairman for its Alphabet Inc, after guiding Google through it meteoric rise as CEO in the 2,000's.
"Talent Development" is getting more and more attention, as companies realize the importance of cultivating and retaining their workforce for future leadership positions. It is also being realized for its ROI gains, as companies and technology get better at analyzing data. Yet, at the crux of Talent Development, there has to be a culture of learning – whether it is a mentor program, coaching platform, peer-to-peer collaboration, investments in continuous learning, or all of the above in some cases.
Millennial employees are another key driver. They want feedback and ask for development. It is important to implement such initiatives sooner than later, as we are at the crossroads of losing two vital generations in the workplace that have significant experiences and knowledge to share. Another factor to consider is the the ever-growing remote workforce. As more employees work from home, have flextime, or are simply in the field and scattered around the world, it is even more valuable to have such programs to be sure everyone is on the same page, gaining the same benefits and feeling inspired.
Whichever one of these concepts sticks with you, technology can help with these goals and in overcoming these challenges. It can empower coaching opportunities with on-demand requests, with mobile learning wherever one is, video and messaging platforms, with feedback tools, and personalized learning content. This is at the core of Scrimmage - providing new and better tools to support and improve the changing world at work. Likewise, mentoring and leadership development are key values driving our growth and company culture.
If you are challenged with or share these elements in your organization, I encourage you to get in touch with us following us at @wescrimmage, to keep up to date on all we are doing.