Articles

What to Do When the Mentor is the Boss

In general, I recommend against a boss trying to mentor her or his own direct reports. While providing coaching to all of one’s subordinates is encouraged, being a mentor to those who report to you can be fraught with challenges: 1. The present intrudes. When bosses try to mentor their own subordinates, their conversations tend to focus on the present, while mentor-protégé dialogs generally are more future-looking. Current work is a powerful connection between a boss and subordinate and is hard to set aside. Even when you have “big picture” discussions, they tend to be approached from the vantage of...
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Mentoring in Practice: Jeff Cook of ARCO Construction

Mentoring in Practice: A Conversation with Jeff Cook, Co-Founder and CEO of ARCO Construction Co. Q. Tell me a little about your history as an entrepreneur. A. During high school and college, I worked with friends as partners painting houses, cutting lawns, sealing driveways to pay expenses and have spending money. After college, it was a tough job market. I went to work for the State Highway Department as a project engineer on the Innerbelt (I-170) for two years. I went back to school to get a masters in Engineering Management; I always believed education was very important. After that, I...
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Eight Tips for Getting the Most Out of Mentoring

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. Are you getting the most out of your mentoring experience? Many mentees who have mentors with whom they’ve been matched through a formal mentoring program wonder what they should do with their mentors. Below are some suggestions I’ve collected from participants in mentoring programs I’ve facilitated over the years. 1. Spend time with your mentor. While this may seem painfully obvious, you aren’t going to get much out of your mentor if you don’t see her/him. Make sure you have meetings on the calendar, at minimum an hour a month. If you don’t, get some booked....
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Mentoring in Practice: Betsy Cohen of Nestlé Purina PetCare

Mentoring in Practice: A conversation with Betsy Cohen, Vice President, Extended Enterprise, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company Q. How long have you been at Nestlé Purina PetCare and its predecessor companies? A. Twenty-four years. I started in brand marketing, moved up into marketing and sales, and new ventures and new businesses. Q. Tell me about someone who has made a difference in your career. A. My mentors typically were outside the company. I didn’t really understand the power of it and didn’t have people filling that role inside. I had one or two outside, and one inside who was a very good...
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