Working with a mentor helps you take focused time out to work on the business, rather than in the business, developing a growth strategy and clear business development goals.

Former HR and Legal Director and Company Secretary, Graham Haworth, talks about how mentoring is great for both business leaders and the mentor too.

So, why did I decide to be a mentor?

The answer is quite simple. After working in the corporate world for too many years to mention, I decided I wanted to give something back. I felt I could give lots of down to earth, practical advice based on what worked well for me in my career, to other business owners.

I don’t like over complicating things, but delivering simple, strategic guidance helps businesses to thrive and prosper.

I’ve mentored many businesses. It’s great to see so many inspiring Lancashire business leaders, that despite the current economic challenges, are recognising it is also the perfect time to take their business to the next level and to make key strategic moves.

I love mentoring. You are in a unique position to be able to help and support someone and then see them thrive and grow – almost like seeing your children growing up. When I see this, it makes me feel extremely proud to have been able to help, support and advise in some small way.

It’s also interesting to see a business from the outside in, you are in a unique and privileged position to give an honest opinion without any previous knowledge. It’s always interesting when you talk to a business and discuss their plans, particularly if there is a certain reluctance to move forward.

I also firmly believe that people are the biggest ‘game changer’ for a business. Give them great leadership by giving them clear direction. Support them with the right tools, get out of their way and then let them get on with it.  You’ll be astounded by the results.

A great question to ask is “What’s stopping you?”. The answer to the question can be quite revealing. It’s then a case of giving the business the belief and confidence to make that step. The other important element from a mentor’s perspective is to be able to actively listen and ask good questions. It’s also important that the mentor is there to support you. Support is absolutely fundamental.

Graham offers growth mentoring advice to business leaders in Lancashire as part of Boost’s Growth Mentoring Programme.

What do business leaders gain from receiving mentoring advice?

Without doubt, if you are open and honest about your business, you will benefit greatly from receiving mentoring support. If you look at all the top sports stars in the world, they all have coaches or mentors who will point out where they need to improve and develop, offering encouragement and support where appropriate, as well as helping them make ‘marginal gains’ to improve.

You’ll also receive an open, honest view from someone (your mentor), who isn’t too close to the business. A business mentor will have lots of tried and tested tools in their locker and they genuinely want to help you. Equally, you’ll learns some great approaches and techniques to help you solve a multitude of things.

You’ll also get a confidant that you can go to and who will give you help, support or point you in the right direction. It’s important to be open, honest and authentic with your mentor, this will create a great working relationship.

Graham Haworth previously worked as the HR and Legal Director and Company Secretary at Crown Paints. In 2019 he stepped down to become a business mentor and set up his own consultancy business. He has an extensive professional expertise covering acquisitions, major restructures, business growth and transformation.

As a mentor and part of Boost’s extensive resource of business mentors, Graham enjoys helping business leaders create a clear purpose, a compelling strategy, improve colleague engagement and improve processes to create value and save costs within their business.

Discover how Graham helped CEO Andrew Wood to identify ways to grow his building and maintenance business and gain the confidence to make strategic decisions.

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