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The joys of mentoring

Tags: joy   next generation   mentoring   Air Cargo

Oliver Evans on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 2:50 PM

We are (perversely) fond of lamenting that our industry fails to communicate effectively with the wider public and to appeal to the younger generation – also known as the next batch of industry leaders. Perversely, because our industry, underpinning as it does global trade and indeed globalisation, is the most inherently global industry imaginable and has huge appeal for any talented young professionals who want to travel and conquer the world. Perversely, because we just have to do something about it! Yes, it’s that simple.

As a leader of course I like to be a mentor to any high potential recent recruit within my own company. But I recently signed up in a mentoring program that brings seasoned executives and young talents from outside their company together. The concept is straightforward: companies and universities register themselves on a neutral platform, which organises and ensures quality control. The companies in turn can register mentors, while the universities register Masters level students as mentees. Finally, mentor is matched with mentee, and mentorship begins. All sounds very procedural, but it is sheer joy.

I now spend an hour (or so) a month talking to a mentee, in a 6 month programme. “Talking to”: yes, I do a lot of the talking and share whatever experience or insights I may have gained over the years which strike me as relevant. But the joy comes from listening, and learning.

What is it that I learn? Nothing less than what makes the next generation of leaders tick. How they see the world. What priorities they set. What anxieties they have. What courage they display. I have seen at conferences or meetings brave slide shows purporting to “explain” Generation X, or Y, or whatever absurd label the speaker attaches to them. But mentorship is no alphabet soup, it is direct experience.

It is, indeed, sheer joy.

Just try it. Your company will gain access to talented individuals, the next generation of leaders – not just the mentees, but their friends who get to hear of the experience. Our industry becomes visible, indeed tangible. And, yes, you will experience joy.

Thank you for tuning in.


CREATETALENT supports TIACA's education program at Executive Summit & AGM in Istanbul












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