As the CEO of a for-purpose organisation, having a trusted mentor outside of your organisation can be invaluable.
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“Being a CEO can be a lonely role, you are at the top of an organisation so you don’t have peers on the same level as you. Externally you can find peers, but there are some things you can’t discuss with other CEOs. However, a confidential mentoring session changes that giving you the ability to be quite open.” Deb Childs, CEO, Helping Minds
Kilfinan Australia mentors can:
“Ultimately we are inspired through people, we learn through people and we get opportunities through people. Then your opportunity comes to give back and make those opportunities for other people. Having a mechanism to facilitate that is great. It’s like any relationship. There needs to be chemistry there. You need to find the right fit. That’s the cleverness of Kilfinan. I feel quite privileged to be part of it and have the opportunity. It’s been really important to me.” Stephanie Exton, CEO The Mornington Peninsula Foundation
Mitzi Goldman, CEO of a Sydney-based not-for-profit initiative, has been a Kilfinan Australia mentee since 2015. She finds that her mentor’s experience in totally different sectors, as well as the opportunity to speak openly and personally with him, has resulted not only in personal growth but also the confidence to better manage her organisation and ensure an open and more productive relationship with her board. His guidance and perspective have been invaluable.
Notwithstanding that their backgrounds and industries are completely different, Paul Edginton describes his Kilfinan mentor as a perfect match. “She consistently delivers commercial and practical advice; advice that provides me with a clear picture of the direction my organisation – a not-for-profit centred on employment, training and youth services – needs to take. She provides a good, safe and regular reality check on how I’m leading the organisation. This is invaluable in my role as CEO.”
As the inaugural CEO of a new foundation focused on ending domestic violence, Loretta Mannix-Fell used her mentor as a sounding board on how best to manage the expectations, sensitivities and dynamics of a new board. “He didn’t dictate, but rather worked with me on effective ways to communicate issues of concern. He guided me to be more reflective than reactive and, as such, was a mentor in the true sense of the word.”
Although she has worked in the not-for-profit sector for many years, Jane Hill says her Kilfinan mentor assists in managing the specific external demands of her organisation, as well as the expectations of its high-profile board. “It’s a privilege to be the CEO of an organisation that supports and advocates for thousands of women affected by ovarian cancer. My mentor’s support and encouragement has been and remains invaluable to me.”
Chris Raine started and is now CEO of the largest online community of its kind, encouraging sensible drinking or non-drinking. Through discussions with his mentor he’s gained a better understanding of board dynamics and how best to approach certain topics. “My mentor has also been immensely valuable in providing me with the right legal perspective on critical issues, talking through situations and providing a wise perspective on the challenges of being a CEO.”
A first time Executive Director, Andrea Goddard’s foundation supports and enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to achieve their full potential. Andrea says her Kilfinan mentor has not only helped increase her self-confidence in her new role, but also given her a better understanding of board governance and how best to implement the overall strategic direction of the foundation, now operating in six locations throughout the Northern Territory.