Depending on where you are in the world, you will currently be facing different degrees of returning to work. That might mean returning to a company that has been all but mothballed, or it might mean returning to a physical office instead of working from home. Whatever shape the ‘new normal’ takes for you, one thing is for sure – someone turned the Monopoly board upside down and completely changed the game in the last few months. So however experienced you are, you may benefit from a business mentor.

Same storm, different boat

At some point between March and now, someone pointed out that the phrase ‘we’re all in the same boat’ was not entirely accurate. We have all been facing the same storm, but we have all been in our own boats and have had to deal with different consequences as a result. Some of those consequences may not yet have revealed themselves to the fullest. The same applies to businesses and their leaders.

As you make plans to get your business back on a more even keel, one business’s challenges and opportunities will be very different to another’s, and it might be a situation you have never faced before. In fact you may not even be fully aware of what it is you are facing. It’s a unique set of circumstances, and one that will continue to have an ongoing impact – most likely in ways that we can’t predict.

  • For some, it will be a case of coming back to a company that has been severely financially hit by Covid-19.
  • It might be one that has stalled and needs reinvigorating.
  • You might be anticipating a sudden influx of demand that you’re not fully prepared for after lockdown.
  • You may have been fine to date, but the changed landscape could herald challenges over the next six to 12 months.
  • Or you might be a company that saw your business boom during lockdown and want to find ways to continue the positive trend as things begin to change again.

Even Warren Buffett has a mentor

The good and the great have often extolled the virtues of having a business mentor.  Even Warren Buffett had a mentor in the form of the American investor and economist, Benjamin Graham.

The most successful business leaders have those around them who they trust to bounce ideas off, challenge their perspective and offer alternative ways of thinking – even if it’s just to galvanise the course of action they had originally planned. While you may or may not feel the benefit of that under normal circumstances, having an outside perspective, and one that can draw on different circumstances to offer both practical and philosophical advice, is never a bad idea.

Seeing the big picture

One of the great talents of a good mentor is their ability to help you plan ahead in a way that is sensible, plausible, possibly ambitious, but also flexible enough to respond to the changing headwinds. They’re the people you can pick up the phone to at any time and know that the advice they give is impartial, experienced, but also takes in the whole narrative, not just the immediate task at hand, even when you are absorbed with a particular detail.

The road ahead is interesting. It might be hard, it might be exciting. It will no doubt be different, and it will almost certainly look different again in a year to the way it does today. However, one thing it definitely doesn’t have to be for business leaders, is lonely.

The gigCMO team is made up of a number of experienced business leaders who are able to support, guide, strategise and empathise through a variety of business life stages and industries. From international development to crisis resolutions, our team understands the logistical as well as emotional and psychological challenges that business leaders face, and they’re here to help, whether it’s a one off consultation, a project or an ongoing relationship.