5 Aug 2015

We Are The Champions, My Friend.

mentoring and personal development

Sitting at Rouken Glen Park last week, sipping coffee and shooting the breeze with one my champions I watched the ducklings splashing around in the pond, learning to swim. The mother duck watched from a distance as her young headed off in different directions, calling them back into line when they began to panic or feel lost.

When working for large organisations there is often a Mother Duck system of procedures and training programmes designed to protect, develop and support staff at each stage of their career. Freelancers, sole traders, one woman shows don’t have that safety net which is why I value and respect my champions so much.

CEO’s and high achievers often join mentor-ship programmes and invest in executive coaching because not only is it tough at the top, it's lonely too. The same applies to those who are bold /crazy enough to set up their own business. Like the BT adverts used to say, it’s good to talk.

I’ve never had a formal mentor but I have been blessed to encounter individuals who were willing to invest their time in me. From different sectors and different walks of life my champions continue to offer knowledge, experience, understanding, a kick up the backside and a sounding board. They cheer me on. They hold me to account. They question my thinking and they champion my success. And all for the price of a cup of coffee.

I trust them completely as they have my best interests at heart. These individuals are straight talking, kind hearted, wise and great company. This article is partly to express my gratitude and to say thank you to Stephen, John, Rob, Margaret, Jonny, Pauline, Tony, champions one and all.

The other reason for this article is to encourage YOU to consider who you could support in their career or business growth. You don't have to make a huge commitment to make a huge difference. Over the years I’ve offered time and support to various business connections because I love their attitude and I believe in them. They never asked for help, I approached them and gave back what was given so generously to me. It isn't necessarily just the young who could benefit. I’m pushing 40 and I imagine that when I’m pushing 70 I’m still going to want to gather opinions and advice because life is about learning, and in learning we grow.

We are all experts in something. We have all benefited from a listening ear, a kind word or a reality check somewhere along the line. We need someone out with our friends and family to believe in us, someone whose opinion is not biased or so close that they can't speak freely without being in the dog house. 

They say that the business world is cut throat and that you need to be tough. At times that is true but you catch more flies with honey than vinegar and if you ask me, the best approach is to be a champion my friend.

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Thanks for reading. Annie Boyd is a marketing and business consultant specialising in social media strategy. Her clients range from large public sector organisations to SME's. She enjoys working with individuals or teams who are open to new ideas and who like to look for solutions rather than look at problems! Get in touch if you'd like to have a chat about working together find me on LinkedIn.

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