Strategies for Managing Directors

Selecting a Mentor Kim Radok July, 2014

The small business owner or manager is often at a disadvantage to many other business owners and managers because of a lack of business experience and an ability to find the right emotional support. One way the business owner or manager can get the right emotional support is through employing the right people and / or through having a good mentor or advisor.

In this blog, I want to talk about finding the right mentor or advisor. So what should you look for in a mentor or business advisor?

In my view, today you need a mentor or advisor who understands the sales and marketing verses the financial and reputational risk equation. Such a mentor is usually hard to find, but they are out there if you genuinely look for them.

The problem in finding the right person is; we live in an era where many business people are focused on saving costs and/or concentrating on sales and marketing issues. Worthy as these objectives are, there are always risks in business. Consequently, many business owners and managers do not always understand the risks of their actions.

By only focusing on cost reductions and sales, business owners and manager seem also to forget we are living in dangerous times. Make no mistake; the world is not as rosy as many media commentators and economists would have you believe. In such circumstances,  you can easily lose your money and reputation.

It is the risky side of the business which is often neglected. Furthermore, we know, let me repeat that, we know many business people see risk management expenditure as a cost, not as a business foundation building investment.

Add the fact, many people suspect criticism is a negative to their ability to grow a business, you can see why many mentors focus on the positive sides of business. As a consequence, small business people and their managers often seek help from people who will tell them what they want to hear. Rarely do they take on board a mentor who actually tells them what they need to hear.

If you are seeking emotional assistance in business, a mentor or advisor who you trust is a real asset. At all times, when the best mentors and advisors are advising you on the positives and negatives of business, they do so in the genuine belief this is what you need to hear, even if you don't want to hear it.

In conclusion, it is also worth remembering, nice people who avoid the tough stuff, never realise the potential of their business. However nice people, who come to understand they need to hear the tough stuff, often do achieve their business potential.

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