Accountability in Your Mentorship Relationship

marc bombenon handshake

One of the keys to a truly successful mentorship relationship is building a sense of accountability early on.  Establishing accountability from the beginning will help both parties in the mentorship relationship to actively benefit from the exchange. Often times, mentorships end up fizzling out because the mentor provides advice, connections, etc to a protégé who does not understand that they must be an active member of the partnership. One of the first things that a new mentor should do is have an active discussion about accountability with their protégé and create an outline of what accountability will look like moving forward.

Create a Timeline

It’s impossible to plan out every single step of a protégé’s career; but that doesn’t mean that realistic goals and benchmarks should not be set. A clear timeline will allow both parties to agree upon exactly what is expected to come from their relationship.

When establishing a timeline, it’s important for both parties to communicate openly and honestly. A mentor may have certain ideas based on their experience, while a protégé have certain ideas expectations based on their ideas of what success look like. Remember that nothing is cast in stone; these goals and time frames can be reassessed if need be.

The purpose of the timeline is to allow the protégé to assess exactly what needs to be down in order to reach their goals, and gives them something to work towards. With a timeline in place, a protégé will be less likely to wait around for a mentor to give tips and advice, and it allows the protégé to be proactive within their career.

Measure Progress

In a mentor & protégé partnership, it’s important for both parties involved to take an active part in the measurements of progress and success. This will keep both parties aware of what is going on, and allow for healthy and active discussion on what has been accomplished, and what (if anything) has become stagnant in the plan.

One ofthe best ways to create accountability is to have a regularly scheduled meeting (bi-weekly, monthly, etc) that should not be broken; have a backup date scheduled as well. Consistency is key, and the continued meetings and discussions will keep everyone active and eager to have events and topics to report about.

Have a way to keep track of progress and accomplishments. Both people can keep a journal, or there can be a running document. Just make sure that there’s a way to actively measure that progress and accountability.

The Keys to Healthy Accountability Discussions

  • Good Timing: It’s important that the mentor (and protégé) be able to read the situation at hand. If one party is already down for whatever reason, it’s important to create a situation of comfort and optimism before delivering negative or hard news. Poorly-timed chastising could very well destroy a healthy mentor-protégé relationship.
  • Positive Attitudes: It’s important to keep positivity and happiness at the forefront of any discussion. A great mentor should be able to instill a sense of confidence in their protégé, even if there are negative topics that need to be discussed. No one benefits from being constantly bombarded with negative energy.

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Creating A Mentorship Program At Your Company

meeting

If you’ve been following my blog, you know how important I believe mentorship to be for success and growth within any career path. If you have the ability to do so, one of the most valuable things you can do in any workplace is to create a mentorship program. A successful program has the ability to lead to higher employee satisfaction and allow for the development of new leadership skills. If carried out correctly, there is very little room for the mentorship program to have a negative impact. There are a few things that you’ll need to take care of in order to build a successful mentorship program:

 

Determine Your Program’s Objective

Before you try to pitch your idea for your mentorship program, you must first determine the goals and structure you see for the program. Your company may have different issues and needs to address, so be sure to figure out what you want to tackle. (A mentorship program for new hires would require a completely different setup than a mentorship program that is focused on grooming future company leaders.)

 

One of the major keys will be to make sure you work with the company culture. Formal work culture will require a more formal process and more relaxed scenes will require less structure. But no matter what the culture, you will need to determine how the mentor/mentee pairings will be established and determine a general outline of goals that should be accomplished through the partnership.

 

Determine the Pairing Process

This will by and large be the most difficult (and vital) part of the process. There are a few different ways that you can structure the mentor & mentee relationship:

 

Group Mentoring: In this set-up, a number of employees work together to share information, provide advice, and work towards a goal of mutual professional growth. Most group mentoring programs have a “group leader” who facilitates the forward movement of the group.

 

Peer Mentoring: Peer mentoring is the pairing up of similar employees. In this scenario, individuals develop a relationship based on the transfer of knowledge, and create an environment rich with skills and continuous learning.

 

Flash Mentoring: This mentoring scenario would be a series of “one-time meetings or discussions” where those interested in being mentored can sit down and meet with different mentors. This situation puts less pressure on the mentor, but still allows for the mentee to get the information that they need.


 

For resources: Inc. & Management Mentors & Flash Mentoring

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A Few of the Greatest Aviators in History

 

aviation

Determining the “best” aviators in history is definitely a tall order, but there are a few notable figures (in no particular order) that every aviation fan should know about.

Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier

Many historians agree that this little-known French gentlemen was truly the first modern aviator. He wasn’t flying a plane though. Jean-Fracois was the first man to every free-fly in a hot air balloon. His first flight took place in November of 1783. He was a bold man, willing to literally go to new heights to chase his dreams of flying. In an unfortunate turn of events, Jean-Francois was all the first person to pass due to aviation as well. He lost his life during an attempt to fly across the English Channel in his hot air balloon.

 

Amelia Earhart (Lady Lindy)

Any aviator would be remiss to not include Ms. Earhart in their list of greatest aviators of all time.   In 1932, she became the first woman to fly (unaccompanied) across the Atlantic Ocean. Three years later in 1935, she became the first to fly continuously from Honolulu to Oakland. Just two years later, Amelia attempted to do what was then considered unthinkable, and started a flight around the world. Sadly, she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, and was never heard from again.

 

Chuck Yeager

Known as the daredevil of test piloting, Chuck Yeager became the first man to successfully fly faster than the speed of sound. He was also known for helping with the testing of one of the first experimental rocket-powered airplanes.

 

James (Jimmy) Doolittle

Jimmy Doolittle was another speed demon & daredevil. When he was 15 years old, he built his own glider and jumped off of a cliff. Not surprisingly, he crashed terribly, but that deter him. Later in life, Jimmy set several records for flight speeds and made huge contributions to “instrument flying”. But his claim to fame was the “Doolittle Raid”, an air raid over Tokyo in April 1942. He led sixteen bombers off of the rolling deck of an aircraft on a mission to Japan.

Charles Lindbergh (Lucky Lindy)

Charles was the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone. In May 1927, his solo flight took him from New York to Paris, and directly into the hearts of millions.

To learn more about these aviators and discover a few more greats, refer to the following sources: 123

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Qualities to Look For in a Mentor

mentorship

 

A mentor can truly be one of the most valuable assets in your professional life. No matter what level you are at in your career, one can always benefit from having someone more experienced and more connected in their corner. Mentors have been proven to help advance careers, support new ventures, and provide guidance every step along the way. When choosing a mentor, there are a few qualities that you should be looking for.

 

Experience

The entire purpose of building a mentor and mentee relationship, is to create a space where the mentee benefits from the mentor’s experience. Make sure that the mentor you choose has pertinent and appropriate experience, and that their career path or expertise aligns with your career goals.

 

Motivational Abilities

A mentor should have the ability to teach you how to be better and more productive. It’s important that you two have great professional chemistry and that they have the tools to motivate you when you’re feeling discouraged or unsure.

 

Network

This is HUGELY important. A good mentor will be able to get you connected with relevant professionals within your industry and beyond. A well connected mentor means you will be guaranteed great introductions, get access to career-relevant events, and be put into the line of sight of thought-leaders in your field.

 

Goal Oriented

As a mentee, you will undoubtedly have goals and aspirations of your own. But your mentor should have the ability to hone in on what you want to accomplish and create realistic step-by-step goals that will lead you down the correct path. A great mentor will help you stay focused and provide guidance when goals feel unattainable.

 

Clear Perspective

It’s very important that your mentor bring unbiased opinions to the table. The last thing that you need is someone who will always take your side in a moment of professional (or personal) conflict. You will need someone who is ready to listen to your side of the story and give you appropriate and realistic feedback; they need to be able to tell you when you are wrong.

To see the inspiration for this article, click here.

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The Sky is the Limit: The Aviation Industry’s Bold New Approach to the Future

There are some bold new ideas coming from the Airline Industry that are paving the future of aviation. Industry giants are already trying to maximize power output and efficiency while simultaneously cutting down on emissions. Governments around the world are zeroing-in on the Airline industry, stressing more fuel-efficient engines as well as limiting heat-trapping emissions. Newer technologies that quite literally give new shape to airplanes are revolutionizing the industry, as industry leaders like Airbus and Boeing increase efforts to create lighter flight. Newcomers like Honda are already rattling feathers with their new 17% more fuel efficient Hondajet HA-420, signaling to industry leaders that fuel-efficient technology is now the new norm. However in years to come, even greater innovations are being planned, surely reshaping the Aerospace industry as we know it. Here are a few:

Alternatives to fuel-dependency: Cheaper and Cleaner Flying

Costs of fuel often influence the airline industry’s commercial markets. When the cost of gas skyrockets, so does the cost of flying. Alternative sources of fuel are currently being tested in the hopes of one day mitigating, and maybe even eliminating our fuel dependency. NASA recently tested the use of biomass fuels. Although currently more expensive than conventional jet fuel, a biomass blend fuel tested for 50% less soot emissions. Solar-powered hybrids have already traveled on intercontinental flights, while Hydrogen-powered planes are being theorized and planned as we speak. Such technologies can bring about an era of 100% emission free aviation.

Faster Flying

Industry leaders are not only hoping for cleaner flight, but also for flight to be faster. No civilian passengers have flown on supersonic jets since the Concorde’s retirement in 2003. Commercial Supersonic flight is suspected to revolutionize the airline industry. Despite the scientific, economic, and even political hurdles commercial supersonic flight faces, the rewards are quite appealing. For example, supersonic jet plans now in the works hope to cut commercial travel time by almost half, making flying much more accessible once the paradigm shifts. Plans are in the works for jets to travel speeds of up to Mach 4. Such speeds would carry passengers from Tokyo to Los Angeles in just under two and half hours.

Anyone passionate about aviation can easily get excited about the direction the industry is moving. Although the future is impressive, it is important that we temper expectations, as many of these innovations are still in its infant stages. For the moment, we can look forward to cleaner skies, and fuller pockets when travelling into the wild blue yonder.

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Building a Mutually Beneficial Mentor-Mentee Relationship

When entering the professional world, having a mentor can be very important. In fact,  a 2012 Dimensional Research survey revealed that mentorship was the number one request by millennials worldwide. 42% of millennials said that when it came time to enter the professional world, they wanted mentors.But can the mentor learn from their mentees as well? It turns out that the mentor-mentee relationship has become mutually beneficial.

To understand the ways the mentor-mentee relationship in changing in today’s society, we must look at how millennials are shifting their focus. While they are strongly enthusiastic about getting mentors, they don’t necessarily want to follow in their mentor’s shoes. It may seem at first pointless to mentor someone who isn’t doing exactly what you want to do. Perhaps this diversity in aspirations is what leads mentors to learn from mentees, too.

But there are more benefits to the mentor-mentee relationship than seeing someone choose their own experience. So what is it that makes mentoring a younger person such a good life experience? And how can we get the most out of the mentor-mentee relationship?

mentorship

Of course, it feels rewarding to help another person. But there are more benefits to the mentor-mentee relationship than the satisfaction of lending a helping hand. Mentoring a younger person also gives a mentor insight into the mindset of the younger work force. This allows the professionals in higher up positions to understand more about millennials who are entering the workforce. It also gives the mentor connections to the mentee’s friends and peers. This network of people provides many viable candidates for professions that need to be filled. Companies and individuals will need to hire these young professionals in the next 10 to 15 years in order to stay relevant.

One of the most important things to remember when maintaining a mentor-mentee relationship is to keep it professional. Make sure that the friendship does not become one similar to a parent and child. It is important to set expectations and remain constructive. And of course, stay open to learning new information and skills from your mentee.

The younger crop of professionals can also help out their mentors figure out new aspects of the professional world that may be stumping them. For example, millennials are a great source of information on how to manage social media. In the information age, technology is constantly creating new jobs and new professional angles that are necessary to take. A mentor is an enormously helpful person in a young professional’s life. But in an ever changing professional world, mentees can help mentors get ahead in the professional world, too.

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Competition Heats Up in Asia’s Aviation Sector

MRJ’S First Flight // Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.

MRJ’S First Flight // Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.

In Asia, aviation is a-booming. Both China and Japan debuted new passenger aircraft this month. Interestingly, both aircraft are being targeted at China’s growing aviation markets.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), which embarked on its maiden flight on the 11th of this month, is the first domestic passenger jet that Japan has produced in 50 years. Japan Airlines purchased 243 orders and Skywest, the world’s largest regional airline, placed 200 orders. Of the two jets, the MRJ is the smaller, seating between 70 and 90. The goal here is fuel-efficiency. In an age of increasing environmental awareness, a fuel-efficient aircraft has public opinion on its side.

 

COMAC

COMAC

Earlier this month, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) released its own domestically produced liner called the C919. Over 517 orders have already been placed on the plane from various airlines, including many regional Chinese ones. Whereas the MRJ is looking to offset fuel costs through fuel efficiency, the C919 is looking to do so through sheer passenger volume. It can seat between 158 and 174. However, many of the parts of the C919–from the engine to the landing gear system, electric power system and more–are manufactured by foreign companies.

It’s tough to say how the market share will pan out, though I place my money on Japan. Since the post-WWII moratorium on building aircraft, the country has really made a comeback in airplane production. They produce a staggering amount of parts for Boeing and have decades of producing aircraft for the US military. Even though Mitsubishi Aircraft is only seven years-old they are aiming to sell 5000 MRJs in the next several years. That’s impressive.
At any rate, it’s refreshing to see some new competition in an industry that is all-too-dominated by Boeing and Airbus.

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