Ask business leaders what contributed to their success. Four out of five will mention the mentors who helped them along the way.
Mentoring is valuable for all business professionals, but it is critical for risk managers.
Because there aren’t a lot of second chances in risk management.
If the head of marketing blows a presentation to the board, she will be told to return in two months and make it right. If the head of risk management blows a presentation to the board, he will be thanked politely and not invited to again.
Marketing is critical to the success of most companies. The board and management will move mountains to make it succeed. Risk management is further down on the priority list.
It shouldn’t be, but it is. That’s the reality.
If the head of product development launches a flawed product, the CEO and board will weigh her three previous successful products against this failure when assessing her future with the firm.
Risk managers don’t accumulate successes in the same way. What constitutes “risk management success” anyway? If a firm goes for five years without a significant mishap, no one thinks of that as five years of risk management success. They think of it as five years of same-old-same-old – no credit to risk management.
In a nutshell, risk managers must prove their worth every day, and when things go wrong, they aren’t given the benefit of the doubt.
As I said earlier, there aren’t a lot of second chances in risk management.
As a risk manager, you always have to have your best foot forward. You have to get things right the first time, every time. I am sure you have years of business experience to fall back on. That’s excellent, but it isn’t enough. You need a mentor. Your years of business experience will tell you that. You can’t do this alone. Find a mentor.
How will a mentor help? Lots of ways:
- Before you deliver that important presentation, your mentor can review it with you and propose improvements.
- The same is true for that important report, memo or email.
- When you get pushback on a new initiative, your mentor can give sage advice on how to respond.
- When you are struggling with some challenge, your mentor can describe how others have addressed similar challenges – and what the outcomes were.
- When crisis hits, your mentor can help you with damage control, and boost your spirits when you need it most.
- Better yet, with years of experience in risk management, your mentor can anticipate problems for you before they arise.
- Your mentor can update you about developments or emerging trends in risk management that you are too busy to find out about on your own.
The list is endless.
So how do you find a mentor?
Bad news: At this point in your career, it may be difficult.
While the pool of individuals willing and able to mentor entry level employees is vast, the pool that might help a risk manager in your position is narrow.
If your predecessor still works for your firm, that person might be a mentor. Another option might be a former boss who is also a risk manager. Even if those people are available, they may not be the right people to mentor you. Don’t settle for “good enough”. You need someone with the experience, expertise and mentoring skills to help you navigate the troubled waters you face ahead.
This is where I come in.
Did you know most of my coaching is delivered remotely using conferencing software right on this website? It’s a perfect medium for mentoring.
You can talk with me via desktop, any mobile device or even a landline phone. If you use a desktop or mobile device, we can also share documents or sketch out ideas on a virtual whiteboard.
Some clients make this a routine, checking in with me every week, or every two weeks. We set aside a fixed time that is convenient. It is like hiring an expert risk manager to join your team, but at little cost.
Click the orange button and schedule an appointment. To get you started, here is a 50% off coupon for your first session. Just enter discount code 24HR-P4W at checkout to receive the discount. But don’t wait. The coupon is good only if you book today.
The appointment doesn’t have to be for today. Whatever day you schedule it for, I look forward to talking to you then.