Changes in Leadership Capacity

Mentoring Story
Like so many CEOs, Gemma is incredibly busy. Initially, she was uncertain whether or not a mentoring relationship would add much value, or whether it would become just ‘another thing she had to do.’ It was also her view that mentoring felt a bit self-indulgent and could take time away from her role. 

She’s now been a Kilfinan mentee for one year, and in that time, she’s had to cope and adapt through the compounded external challenges of the summer bushfires and COVID. She says this means that she’s busier than ever, having to work at an incredible pace, fast-track a lot of thinking, and remain adaptive and decisive through these times.

For Gemma, her mentor has been a constant presence through it all. He’s been a very honest sounding board, and a place to debrief and workshop ideas. She’s found that instead of taking up time, her mentoring relationship with her mentor has actually freed up time by giving her lots of confidence and reassurance that she’s heading in the right direction. 

She appreciates that her mentor has spent significant time and effort really coming to understand the nuances of not only her business and sector, but her personal leadership style as well, so that he can provide advice and counsel that is contextual and personalised to her.
She recognises that despite her initial scepticism, mentoring has truly added value for her personally and professionally, adding that it “has helped so much in a practical way that is directly translatable to my work.” She has an enormous amount of respect for her mentor and deeply appreciates the time they spend together, stating that she “always feels better after the sessions.”
Why do we like this story?
• The mentoring relationship has created space and time, adding significant value, despite her initial bias

• Her mentoring relationship has relieved stress and pressure through this difficult time, bringing her into a better headspace and able to reengage with the work of running her organisation.
What does this story tell us about Kilfinan?
Kilfinan demonstrated a capacity to match Gemma with a mentor with the soft skills to understand what won’t work for her as well as what will.
Names and other identifying details have been changed to protect mentor and mentee confidentiality.