There are many misconceptions about the world of mentoring, business coaching and training.
But founder of Broker Essentials and finance industry leader Jason Back believes the understanding and accessing this unique space in personal development can unlock tremendous success in business and life.
“Mentoring as been such an important part of my life,” Jason told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast.
“The biggest thing was being open to it, and being open to learning, and realising that you don’t know it all, and that if you’re open to growing, then the possibilities are endless.”
Jason first walked down the mentoring and coaching path while in a corporate executive role.
“I had this budget to hire this coach, and off we’d go surfing,” he said.
“And what he was actually doing for me is that we would spend an hour in the car driving to where we were going surfing, and we would download what’s happened over the last month.
“’What are some of your frustrations?’ ‘What are the challenges you’re up against?’ And it was an opportunity for me to get all this stuff off my chest, and talk a little bit more about my frustrations.
“We’d then spend an hour or two surfing, and we’re in a state where you’ve got high serotonin, high endorphin release. So you’re at this utopic sort of state where we talk about family, and talking about balance and all the things that are important to you personally.
“And then on the way home we’d spend another hour looking at next steps, goals for the next month. ‘What are you going to achieve?’ ‘How are you going to achieve these sort of things?’
“I certainly credit it to a major reason for my career development trajectory going the way it did. (it) was being open to, A, learning, B, other people’s opinions, but then also testing and learning.”
It is not just Jason who has benefited, most of the influencers and leaders in the world rely on mentors to help them navigate and grow.
“We’re desperate for a tribe,” Jason said.
“And leadership doesn’t have to come from a top down hierarchical point of view. It can be lateral, or it can be subordinate. You don’t have to have leader on your business card.
“But when we think about the importance of community and tribe, especially when it even goes back to things like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where food and shelter of course are critical, but tribe, and community are now replacing that at the bottom rung, or surrounding ourselves with people in a network, that we’re better together.
“Willpower alone is not sufficient enough to get me through anymore. Peer power, and actually working with people to hold you accountable, to collaborate with, it’s so much more powerful.”
Jason believes the biggest challenge people face with mentoring is understanding what it is, and what exactly they need.
“So when I talk about mentoring, I might say, ‘Do you need a mentor? Or do you need a coach? Do you need a trainer, or do you need a manager? Do you need a consultant?’” he said.
“So I think when it comes to mentoring, you need to be really clear on the why, so what you’re looking to invest into it, and what you’re looking to get out of it, more importantly?”
After defining the role and need, people are then ready to find a mentor.
“You can look at them (mentors) from a lateral point of view, so you can go a little bit wider, outside of your industry,” Jason said.
“I love that ideology. I love the ideology of different experiences, different industries to bring in creative thinking. I think sometimes we can pigeonhole ourselves, and we can put the blinkers on, and we get very caught up in our own industry, and we’re not necessarily open enough to maybe respect the thoughts of other outside.
“But on the flip side, especially if you’re someone like myself, who is a subject matter expert in my industry, we lack the mentoring because of the credibility of those in the industry who haven’t done what we do. Because it is a very technical industry.
“So I think it’s always worth having different views, and having more potentially than one person, because then at least it opens you up to having a different thought process.”
Listen to the full podcast interview here.
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