As featured on MaltaCeos.mt here

Engaging a mentor can create the right safe space to help you reignite a lost spark and inspire the road ahead.

Let’s face it, it’s lonely at the top – whether you’ve been there for a while or are just acclimating yourself to a new, top management role.

COVID-19 has left its fair share of repercussions on the business world, pushing even the toughest of top and middle management beyond their limits, causing them to take on roles and decisions far beyond their call of duty.

Riding the wave is exhilarating, particularly when you’re high on the adrenaline of these newfound responsibilities, yet what happens when the initial energy subsidies and you are faced with the headaches of every-day work life?

Whether you’re at C-suite level or a promising member of middle management, navigating through the daily operational requirements and assuming a strategic role is hard, and if not balanced correctly, may pose inefficiencies to your company.

Pausing from your daily responsibility to take a strategic look at your performance and where you are heading may be challenging, yet you need not go through it alone. A mentor can be your ultimate companion.

Numerous entrepreneurs can vouch for the benefits of mentoring. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sought advice from Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs during Facebook’s early stages, and late CBS anchor Walter Cronkite publicly thanked a high school journalism teacher for inspiring his path.

Considered as gurus of the corporate world, catering to your specific needs, a mentor can:

Take an unbiased look at your performance

Be it in terms of how far you have come in your career and whether the direction you’re heading to is in line with your aspirations, a mentoring programme can help you assess your career path. Serving as a sounding board, a good mentor creates a safe space for you to trust and open-up to, helping you cultivate a sense of reassurance.  As outlined in a  2014 Telegraph report, having high self-confidence contributes significantly to career success – more so than talent and competence.

Assume a top-level view of the company

Providing the right guidance and support, a great mentor can help probe and ask the right questions, enabling you to challenge your company’s overall way of doing things.

Such a mentor will also help you navigate through shareholders’ aspirations, whilst challenging the value you provide to customers and whether this has shifted in the last years or months.

Taking a practical look at the viability of future business plans

In line with the above, a mentor will support in challenging your future business aspirations, helping you create a more robust business strategy whilst tying up all loose ends, setting you up for success.

Taking the leap – from tactical to strategic

Some employees who have recently been appointed to higher leadership roles tend to continue tackling their day-to-day in the same way they previously did. For them it might be a continuation of what they used to do, just with added responsibility. Yet, for the shift to be fruitful, it needs to be mindful and conscious. Recently appointed C-suite members need mentoring on responsible prioritisation, delegation and detachment, so as not to fall into the traps of unnecessary stress and micro-management.

Setting the right leadership tone

A mentor can help you assess your leadership style and whether it is helping the organisation transform objectives into tangible results. She/he will encourage leaders to set the right attitude and lead by example. With a strong emphasis on emotional intelligence, your mentor can help you establish a company culture which embodies the company’s goals and communicates them effectively throughout the organisation, especially considering the increase in remote working.

Tied to this, she/he can equip management with the skill of resiliency to manage stress levels as the company navigates through change. Looking at the need for ‘reflection’ and pausing from day-to-day tasks, mentoring can also diminish the chances of burn-out whilst shedding light on the importance of ‘real’ time off.

Network opportunities

A mentor has walked the walk and is strongly connected to leaders just like yourself, presenting you with an array of contacts to like-minded individuals, and possibly, future business partners.

Helping you answer even the hardest of questions about yourself… even if these challenge the way you approach things

Your mentor will not only look at the way you are leading your company or department but may offer advice on personal branding and behaviour. Not only will she/he assess your mental and emotional state of mind, they can also challenge the way you respond to the board of Directors and how you manage your management team. Ultimately, it will draw conclusions on your state-of-play within the company, and whether you feel you are progressing in-line with your goals.

Reinforcing lessons learnt through books

The right mentor will inspire you whilst reinforcing any lessons learnt in books – providing you with the energy and motivation to keep on your journey towards ultimate accomplishment.