WHY DO YOU NEED A MENTOR?
Mentoring is all about finding the ‘extra gear in the gear-box’ in all aspects of our lives – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual.
Bill Gates has Warren Buffett. Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan Kenobi (and Yoda), Oprah Winfrey has Mrs Duncan (her 4th grade teacher). There is a long, long list of the very top performers in life who have had mentors.
My clients have always been some of the very best and the brightest in their chosen fields. They are all extremely successful. They have climbed to the top of their professions and industries. They are leaders. They are surrounded by people who look to them for validation and some of their team members are undoubtedly gunning for their jobs.
But these captains of industry, these titans of commerce, entertainment, society – these winners, all have something that keeps them beyond the reach of those who lust for their positions – they have a mentor whose only agenda is their betterment.
REALITY IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH
My experience of working with clients at this level, my life experiences, the frank, fearless conversations I insist on, all help my clients rethink the status quo. They are forced to re-evaluate their strategies. They learn to see around corners. They learn new, invaluable skills (skills they either didn’t know, or thought were of no great import).
But let’s be clear: this work isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you don’t want to be challenged and stretched, if you are afraid to contemplate the tough questions, if you don’t want to face the sometimes awful truth of it all, don’t engage with me. Conversely, if you are not afraid; if you are ready to take the next step in your life; if you are committed to doing whatever it takes to become the best you can be, which means discovering who you really are; if you’re thinking “it’s about bloody time”, then it might be the right time to contact me.
Legendary CEO Dave Dennen did just that. Judging by the following quote from him, it’s obvious that he is happy he did so: “David Carter has the remarkable ability to bring the future to the present, to dramatically increase the probability of success, to speed up the success timetable dramatically, and focus on the power of leaders to create new ways of doing business.”
At the start of a new relationship, I take my new client away from their normal environment and we undertake a two-day one-on-one ‘retreat’. Most retreats are conducted at my sanctuary in South Kensington, London. Private. Discreet. This sanctuary is a safe haven to explore new ideas and unpack old concerns.
We explore where the client has come from. We define where they are at. We decide where they want to get to. We discover what drives them. We take stock of their strengths. We evaluate what their values are.
We examine what has worked for them in the past, what is working for them in the present, and what is not working for them. We create hopes and dreams. We create a plan to realise them.
We undertake a comprehensive 360 degree investigation that compares how they see themselves, with how 20+ assessors (friends, family, colleagues, peers, other key stakeholders) see them.
Following a thorough examination of their lives, we discover the degree to which they are fully functional and finely tuned, and determine whether they need some minor tweaking, or if they require a complete overhaul.
COMPLETE CONFIDENTIALITY, COMPLETE CONFIDENCE
The relationship between myself and my clients is completely confidential. There are no conflicts of interest, no hidden agendas. The only measure of success is the eventual achievement of agreed upon goals, which are defined by my clients.
If I am to help my clients, they have to be honest with themselves and with me. So clients must be completely satisfied that my soul, and sole, goal is to help them, before we can start.
TWO DAYS AND MANY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
I am empathetic. I listen intently. I communicate with clarity and conviction. I bring empathy, listen intently, and respond with clarity.
They leave, after two days, with a plan, a focus, a vision. Over the next two to three years, we bring that plan to fruition. It’s tough and lonely on the road to success – and a problem shared can be a problem halved.
I have often observed that it’s not what clients know they know, or even what they know they don’t know, that trips them up. It’s what they don’t know they didn’t know, that gets in the way of their success and happiness.
Having an objective mentor is the surest way to become consciously competent in all of the areas required to lead a successful – and more importantly – a significant life.
AND THEN WHAT?
After the initial two-day retreat I see my clients, face to face, for at least half a day every month, regardless of where they are in the world. We Skype at least once per week. At the end of each year we do another two-day retreat.
Our mentoring relationship is a partnership. It’s results focused. It requires commitment from both of us.
Unless a client is committed to achieving a breakthrough, and then sticking with the changes, no matter how hard the journey, I am almost certainly the wrong mentor for them.
It’s okay to fall over sometimes. Failure isn’t falling down, it’s staying down.
Successful people have one thing in common – an unwavering commitment and continuous focus on their own development. So, this is what I do. I mentor. Ten clients. I mentor the best so they can become even better. And within those relationships, I do whatever it takes to help them become the very best versions of themselves.