Who needs a business mentor?

So, if you could choose four people on your team, would a business mentor be one of them?

Business mentors do not necessarily come up with new ideas. It is unusual for them to invent the next best thing to the IPad or to facebook or to chocolate. Rarely do they come with a specific qualification, and yet they often claim that they can help allsorts.

What’s their game?

It is about a year ago that I was listening to Ron Bowman from the Carnegie Training Center in Israel. He took the example of the top golfers in the world. He pointed out that the average shot per round of number one in the world and of number 120 something is very similar. The difference is seemingly marginal.

However, the gap exists and becasue of that number gets all the lucrative endorsements.

How is that difference maintained? The top guys pay for the best trainers and for mentors. Why? Because for all their natural skills and experience, the players need perspective. They need to keep learning how to see things in a way that will keep them ahead of the pack.

Business is not a sport for most people. However, for most of us the concept of being one step in front and remaining there is crucial. 

Earlier this week, I was sitting with a baker, who had already seen one set up collapse around him. For all his tasty products, he had been unable to realise that he had to organise his time not just around his ovens. Clients needed to be met. Bank managers had to be addressed. Suppliers needed to be spoken to.

He described how he emerged from the gruelling exercise, valuing the need for overview and organisation in his new enterprise. Without expressing it, he wanted (and needed) a mentor.

A few days previously, I met up with a Jerusalem-based service company, owned by an analyst. The business was determined by an undeniably complex workflow.  After some initial successful years, the firm had entered troublesome waters.  For all of the CEO’s strong commercial background, he could not see what was the problem…nor the solution.

He was also sceptical if I would be able to help. After all, I have no experience in his field. What the CEO may be surprised to learn is that the solution lies not in knowledge of his specific sector, but in understanding the definition of creating an operating and practical business model – something which his internal manuals do not provide.

So, who needs a business mentor? Be you a start up in high tech or an established retail outlet or anything else, having access to a wiser and unbiased perspective could make that very significant and positive difference.

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One Comment on “Who needs a business mentor?”


  1. […] week, I posed the question, who needs a business mentor? A recent blog on “The Lean Marketer” took this one stage further. Assuming that you […]


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