60 – Old enough to Mentor – Still fit enough to walk & talk… Wisdom Walks!
I just turned 60… maybe not a great achievement in itself, however it has sparked a new awareness and focus for me and my work… let me explain!
20 years ago I sat on the horns of a dilemma. The business that we had grown rapidly through a remarkable 30% pa organic growth and which had made a flurry or recent acquisitions was achieving a run rate of over £200M sales per year. Despite these successes however, the business was now in trouble. We were suffering from the inevitable consequence of trying to do too much, too fast.
All of our projects, whether the new CDC or the 10 new partner companies, the succession in leadership or the SAP rollout, were all manageable in themselves, but compounding risk along with the unforeseen changes in the financial markets and our debt load, we now had a serious problem rather than good reasons to take the company forward to flotation!
I was told by a Non Exec that I did not have sufficient grey hairs to handle the challenge, which ultimately culminated in a messy exit from my role. This however provided me with my ‘WHY’ and gave me a second career.
So I have spent 20 years learning from the many mistakes of the past, helping business leaders to steer more consciously through troubled waters and imparting the knowledge and experience that I gained at such personal cost.
I believe I have helped many through my coaching and group work to become better leaders and to be more successful as human beings too.
What I now know is that I am old enough to be a real mentor to more leaders and I have developed a great methodology and process combined with a simple principle which is: people talk most freely and openly when they are outdoors, surrounded by nature, walking with a trusted listener. Notice I did not say friend as the true mentor role is very different from sharing with a friend or partner.
I see my role as listening to understand what the real current needs of the leader may be and then, by various means, to help raise awareness and encourage some shifts and changes if necessary to enable them to become more focused and effective.
So maybe these experiences should be called Wisdom Walks?
Perhaps that is too strong but what I do know is that the process of walking side by side whilst talking through issues, receiving helpful and often challenging feedback from someone trained professionally but who also has sufficient battle scars from real-world experience, can be transformational at best and at the very least, it helps release pressure and brings clarity where there was uncertainty and self-doubt. I define this experience as moving a person towards PEACE:
Performance, Energy, Awareness, Contentment & Ease!
I have also learned through experience not to spread myself too thin. To have the bandwidth to be really able to respond to the needs of my clients, I will only take on a maximum of 8 mentoring assignments at any time and 2 wisdom walks per week. This is enough to process and also keep me in balance with my other work.
So if you are leading a business and facing some challenges; if you have a genuine intention to Grow both your business and yourself and if you live within an hour of North Norfolk then you may be a candidate for my mentoring services.
To try me out we can book a single session, take a walk together and then take it forwards from there.
Please contact me now via my website www.davidbrient.com
Or via LinkedIn