Singapore BizAcademy a Huge Success with Students and Mentors alike
Over five days from the 17th to 21st June, Salesforce.org, in partnership with Halogen Foundation ran a business and leadership apprenticeship in which 12 students got to learn about running a business and expand their networks in this globally run program.
This year we asked our students to document their 5-day journey through a blog to find out more about how it works day to day follow this link to read about Chin Yi Long Floyd’s experiences.
However, Biz Academy would still not be possible without our staff volunteering their time, acting as mentors to the students over the course of the week. We spoke to Pascal Ly, Head of Web Marketing – APAC who gave us the following insights;
What is it to be a mentor?
I would say it is to me, first of all a state of mind. It’s having the passion in sharing knowledge, being patient and observant by spotting the blind spots and wanting to help others unleash their potential. You can say it’s either teaching one to fish or like any sports coach, helping the team to win by using each player’s best potential. No matter which example you identify with, at the end of the day, it’s a matter of letting others walk the talk instead of you, the mentor.
This means that being a mentor is to coach others to be better in what they are doing, which means demonstrating your leadership skills.
The leadership skills
Generally speaking, some of the core leadership skills needed in mentoring would be to actively listen and helping to maintain direction and focus. Despite the surrounding noises, one has to be constantly clear about the big picture. There’s a need to always keep a higher vision, so that you can always bring the discussion back to the right level.
Don’t get dragged into details. If you have taken on the responsibility to coach someone, that person has got his/her own strengths and weaknesses and will be smart enough to find the right way to get aligned with the big picture in his/her own style. A leader guides and advises on what are the right things to do while the person coached needs to do the things right.
The Salesforce BizAcademy journey
My mentoring journey at Salesforce BizAcademy with the mentees and other mentors have been memorable in so many areas. In my personal opinion, this required me to tap into my leadership skills as I was able to emphasize two skills I wanted to use extensively during this session: active listening – meaning using questions to reach a conclusion instead of imposing any; and keeping silent as much as possible – trusting that each will find the way to do things right. By using those two skills during the week, it further strengthened my leadership confidence. Isn’t this fantastic? I call this personalized leadership training!
My takeaways on experience with the mentors: Each one has got different ideas and thought processes, which provided other mentors with a variety of rich input as food for thought.
Our daily interaction with the mentees was the most rich and exciting moment of this program. It is really thrilling to see them evolve day after day. A huge feeling of gratification is reached when you see each of the mentees elevating their game to do an astonishing presentation in front of the “dragon” panel.
The winning journey
First, it’s the preparation. Teach them to fish, and that will help them achieve the right goals. Then, ensure they are catching the right fish and that will translate into doing things right. Next it’s to get everyone briefed on the specific role each will be playing as a team during the presentation.
Finally, all players are on the field, ready to play as planned, to win!
There is no better way to experience all of this aside of joining us next year to live the adventure from inside.
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