Corporate Guide Illuminators

Car headlights

Recently I was driving at night on a rather windy and narrow road in the country. The region was quite desolate so there were no other cars to be seen, apart from the occasional animal leaping in front of my car’s headlights with a stunned suicidal look of fright and utter surprise, including me!

Navigating the dark road terrain took a large amount of concentration, particularly as I had no idea as to the width of the road on quite a few occasions. This resulted in me reducing my driving speed rather dramatically as I attempted to come to terms with the unfamiliar environment.

If I had been following a car the whole journey would have been much easier and far less stressful. In this situation, the other car’s headlights would have illuminated the road for me and I could have judged their trajectory by monitoring the red lights permeating from the back of their vehicle.

Let’s explore this analogy in the corporate office. On many occasions when starting a new job or task, we are left to our own devices from which we frequently learn via a process of trial and error. If we are unsure of the required process, we typically proceed with some degree of caution so as to minimize the likelihood of potential mistakes.

However, if we had a ‘corporate guide’ (or mentor) to assist us along our business journey we would progress with greater confidence and speed and arrive at the final objective (or destination) in a much more comfortable state of mind and improved productivity.

One option is to equip those people in the business classified as mentors with a red reflector on their backs and bottoms and a white lantern on their stomachs, just like with a car to provide direction for other employees, but somehow I can’t see this being accepted by the wearer?

A better, and maybe less attention seeking option is for the organization to take the time and effort to train mentors on how to work and encourage those employees who are deemed less knowledgeable on an activity prior to them embarking on the project or task.

However, I do quite like the idea of highlighting mentors with a large hat with a gold flashing light positioned on top to recognize their mentorship skills….but that’s just me.

The GPS Business Mentor

Mario Kart Icon on TomTom GPS

There is a unique business mentor for a person starting a new job role…it is called the “GPS navigational system”!

When you think about it, the correlation and learnings are quite staggering and provide a useful insight for the new employee and their manager.

1. Starting
When you start a new job, you have minimal idea what to do, or how to go about things. You are looking for leadership and guidance as you commence your new career in the right direction.
When you turn on your GPS, it is also “lost” for the first few minutes whilst it establishes its position coordinates with the satellites.

2. The Planning
In the early stages of your new role, you and your manager discuss your learning program for the first few weeks/months.
The GPS plans your travel route.

3. The Journey Begins
The new employee and driver (user of the GPS) both follow directions as provided without straying from the chosen path.

4. Experience
With time, both the new employee and the driver become less dependent on instructions and start to experiment and explore new paths.

5. Next Steps
The manager should start to provide some “new maps” for the employee so they can obtain new and challenging experiences and expand their knowledge, skills and business horizons.

With time…”You will reach your destination”