“You need a mentor!”
Perhaps you have heard these words somewhere along your career path as well. But, what makes a good mentor?
Most people would describe a mentor as someone who “has been there and done that,” and now is sharing their knowledge and experience. Basically a mentor is a trusted advisor or leader.
But, so what exactly?
Doug Lawrence, creator of TalentC has taken that “so what” and created an entire program and two books as an answer to this question.
Doug started his professional career as part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and worked in this field for 25 years. He described giving advice and insight to younger members of the force, and then realized that this was something he had a talent for. He sought out mentor programs, and realized that many programs focused on teaching the “knowledge and how to” of mentoring, but did not focus on making the mentor “truly competent.”
His passion for mentoring allowed him to become an International Certified Mentor, and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring, his Certificate of Competence – Mentor and his Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC)
“A good mentor is going to leverage their lived experience… through story-telling.”
Doug also uses his experience to speak to organizations. He is part of the Canadian Speaker Bureau. He is Doug is a volunteer mentor with the Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneur Program in the Caribbean.
Sir Richard Branson is quoted as saying, ” The best way forward is to give more people everywhere greater power to build their own destinies.” Doug Lawrence embodies this with is mentor program, as well as part of his role as an author.
Doug Lawrence has authored two books. His first book, The Gift of Mentoring. Dough describes the two-way relationship that a mentor and mentee have, as well as the chemistry that has to exist in order for the relationship to be fruitful.
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A good mentor is going to leverage their lived experience. s o, you know, we've all, we've all h ad experiences a nd, a nd w hat y ou need to b e a ble t o d o t hen i s t hrough storytellingBettina:
And hello and welcome to in the rising podcast. My name is Bettina brown, and this is the platform I've chosen to talk about living a life that's in alignment with your hopes, your dreams, and your goals, your vision, and drive for life and turning your back on the shame blame game that does nothing to really advance your life. Well, my guest today is Doug Lawrence, who is just a phenomenal speaker who used to be part of the Royal Canadian mounted police and who took mentoring to a brand new level. He kind of haphazardly came upon that through his career, but really changed it. And I'm so excited for you to hear his story and learn more about mentoring and how it can affect and really transform your life. I'm excited to speak with you today. Doug Lawrence, founder ofC talent, and the international mentoring community. And you have a lot of experience with leadership and mentorship. I was really excited to interview you today because mentorship is big, right? We're told we need to find the right one . We told to , to talk and you , and it helps you rise up . But what got you started in mentorship?Douglas:
What actually the, how I usually describe it is that I was mentoring people, but didn't know what it was at the time. So it was, I was just, it was something I was doing. And I was, I think it goes back to my time in the Royal Canadian, modern police, when I had a number of staff that were , uh , working with me and they would come to me with problems and, and so on, and we'd just take care of 'em , we'd work our way through them. And then the other part that I think that drove me in , in the right, in that direction was I was job coaching university students. So I was helping them write, you know, write a nice resume and a cover letter and the interview prep and all that stuff, and they'd get hired. And then two to three months after they were hired, they would call me up and say, gee , Doug , you know, this happened in the workplace and I'm not quite sure how I should deal with it. And so I would, I wouldn't tell them what they had to do, but I would guide them through, you know, some questions and ask, ask some various questions and stuff to guide them to where they needed to go, to be able to find the answer. And it was after a period of time that they said referral after referral, they said, you know, we can't afford to pay you, but you need to do this for a living, cuz this is something we need. And that at that particular time point , that was when I went. Hmm . Maybe there is something here. And so that's how it all started.Bettina:
Wow. And with that, did you, did you do some more research into mentoring or how , how did that, how did you actually jump ship or jump off the horse and move forward? <laugh>Douglas:
Good . Yeah , that's a sidebar discussion. I guess I actually used, I think it was yesterday that I actually used the , the analogy of a , a two horse race and, you know, anyhow, we'll , we'll save that for another day, but um, yeah, I , I did quite a bit of research actually. And what I, what I was trying to do was I didn't wanna be what everybody else was. I wanted to establish or, or find something that would differentiate me from everybody else that, you know, hung their shingle out and said, you know, I'm a mentor or even more scary was the fact that, oh, come take our training course. And we'll certify you as a mentor and I'm going , uh , no. And so what I did was I, I did the research and then I went searching for a company that I could partner with. And I found a company in the United States that was doing certifications in the , uh , information technology space. And we had a conversation. They said, sure, we'll take you on, we'll go through, we'll take you through writing the CHEI is what they called it. So basically the , the formatting for the , the curriculum and all that sort of stuff. And we, we worked together, we trained a large number of people over the course of probably seven or eight years, I guess it would be. Um, and then all of a sudden there was this shift. We were, I was getting pressure from the mentoring community who said that, you know, we, we want something better. We, you know, right now we're being certified based on our knowledge base of mentoring processes and concepts, but we wanna be certified competentBettina:
Right. So it was the next step. And so the company in the states wasn't ready for that step. You know, we, we tried negotiating with them and stuff like that to say, okay, well kind of guide you we'll mentor you through this process. Right. But they, they just said, no, it's, it's , it's not our cup of tea any longer. And so it was fortunate. It was ironic. The gods were smiling, the stars aligned. All of that stuff was that I was already in conversations with my current business partner , uh , who was based out of Alberta and low and behold. He is a , an expert in, in the ISO standards. So the international standards organization standards, he's a , he's just, he's brilliant when it comes to the certification part. Um, and so it was a good fit because that was stuff that while it's important, actually figuring out, you know, which ISO standards do we need to have in place and all that sort of stuff really wasn't my cup of tea. My cup of tea for the most part is the actual , um , a practice of mentoring. And so I'm the , I'm kind of the person that gets out there and meets with people and, you know, and takes them through a mentoring relationship, helps them discover who they are personally and professionally. And, and now we're, you know, now I'm working in starting to work into the mental health space based on the research and, and how mentoring is a , it's a absolutely perfect fit for that. So that was, we kind of evolved. And so now what we've done with the international mentoring community is we've created an independent body for mentor certification doesn't exist anywhere else . Wow . And, and so, you know, that that's, that was actually, that was my vision, right at the very, very beginning of my journey back in 2009 , was that I wanted to be the catalyst for the creation of an independent body. I didn't wanna be part of it. I just wanted to get it up on its feet and get it going. And we're there. Now we have the international mentoring community that there's this independent body you go through and I've gone through it. So I know how much I won't use the word fun, but how , how interesting and challenging it can be, but I've gone through the two certification levels that require they're based on competence. And they require case studies. They require a fairly , uh , a very strong mentoring log that actually documents all your experience and all that sort of stuff. So,Bettina:
So it's not just, I've been there done that. Let me tell you a little bit, there's a lot of , um, work that that mentor, future mentor is taking on to learn about the mental processes and not to really be competent to, to really bring up and guide the next whatever efficiently based off research and really based off this experience is what it sounds like.Douglas:
Yeah, because you're a good mentor is going to leverage their lived experience. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so, you know, we've all, we've all had experiences and , and what you need to be able to do then is through storytelling is you relate, right? You relate those experiences to the person you're spending time with. And , and you, when you relate, you make sure that they're relatable to the situation that that person is dealing with. Cause to come up with a lived experience that has no relevance whatsoever on what, you're the issue that you're trying to deal with. It's pointless. I mean, you're gonna, you're gonna lose not only yourself, but you're gonna lose the person that you're working with.Bettina:
Yeah. Do you, from, from what you've worked on, do you get people from just like information technology area right now who want to go through this program? Or are you seeing different program? Like how are you interacting with people to, to get them involved in this program?Douglas:
So one of the things, so this program is the ultimate goal, right? That, that , to me, that's where people need to go, but it's not for everybody. And so what we wanna be able to do, and we have that in place, we have two other we'll call them levels for lack of , uh , better choice words , certificate of recognition and certificate of achievement mentoring. So they're , they're basically knowledge based , um, two levels to go through helps beef up your knowledge and stuff like that. But what I always tell companies, if I come into an organization or, or even a , an individual person is let's sit down and have a conversation about what it is that you hope to be able to do with mentoring. And let's make sure that we find what's a good fit for you as a , as an individual or as an organization. I'm actually , uh , going to be putting a proposal together. Hopefully I'll get it well , not, hopefully I will get it done next week for an organization. That's come to me and said, here's what we're thinking and is that possible? And it , it is possible. But I said, one of the caveats that I always put is that if you're implementing mentoring anywhere, it doesn't matter what type of organization, what industry or any of that, what you want to make sure that you do is that you provide training to the mentors and ideally even to the mentees as well, so that they don't, you don't wanna set 'em up to fail basically is what the, and actually it's, it's one of four. Yeah. One of four reasons mentoring programs fail is because of the lack of training,Bettina:
How, how, cuz I've worked for many different companies and I'm like, this is your mentor and we're, but I can also see, there's not a lot of, I guess, effort put into mentorship. It's like, this is a person. This is sign here, they'll check your competency. And I think it's a lot of, you know, saving pennies too, because of that, how receptive our , our organizations that you work with onto really developing that. Do you feel like they're more the startups ? Do you feel it's more private? Is it more government? Like, is there any sort of organization that seems to just be more receptive to really building a strong foundation of mentorship within their, within their ranks?Douglas:
I think we're, we're getting there. Okay . Act actually this organization that I'm , uh , going to put a proposal together, they're already a step ahead of they're ahead of me. They're they're doing, they , they've done things to get ready to prepare themselves for, for taking this next step. They've already done those steps. And those are steps that I typically would come in and do what I call a culture assessment to determine , uh, to determine mentor readiness of the organization. They've done that. And they have some great results where I think it was 90, somewhat percent of the employees have already embraced mentoring in some way , shape or form. And so we're already, you know, coming back to the story of the, the, the horses we're already, you know, we're in a , in a horse race in a two horse race and they're already, you know, a couple pole lengths ahead of me. So, you know, I'm gonna have to get up to speed here very quickly. But at the end of the day, it's going to make the work. I have to do a whole lot easier cuz they that's, this is what they want. And they've already done the prep that needs to be done beforehand or should be done beforehand, beforehand.Bettina:
Yeah. And so with mentoring where like you , sometimes we're just naturally gifted, right. And then if you're really good, people will tell you, <laugh> like, this is just, you're the person I come to for this looking back on your own life. Do you feel that you had mentors without maybe knowing the terminology that, that mentored you?Douglas:
Yeah, most definitely. And , and you know, just by definition alone, gosh, I I'd have to go back to, well, definitely in my days in the R C P I had some people that I worked with that were, you know, my role models, they would definitely be my, they were people I could go to and say, I have no clue how to fix this. Mm . And they would guide me through that. I also had people that thought they were my mentors, but I wouldn't, by definition, I wouldn't cross the road to even have begin to have the conversation mm-hmm <affirmative> right. But, you know, and then I get, I did some ti some work in the private sector and then back into government and in each and every one of those different genres, I can identify with an individual that fits my definition or what I would be looking for in a mentor. Mm-hmm <affirmative> most definitely . What ,Bettina:
What would you say that someone should be looking for in a mentor?Douglas:
You know, one of the most important things that you need to look for is, is there chemistry mm-hmm <affirmative> so is there chemistry between the two of you? Is it a fit? Is this person, do they understand, you know, what, what it is you're dealing with as a person? And, and it's sometimes it's hard for the mentee to , I understand this part of it, but mentoring is about, it's a two way trusted relationship where both parties learn and grow on a personal and a professional basis. So the struggle that a lot of people have as mentors and mentees is finding that person that they're comfortable opening up to deal with their personal issues. Mm-hmmBettina:
So personal issues just as an example, is, could be self-esteem could be self-confidence self-doubt, self-worth all of those. So those are all, and you'd be surprised as I was, how many people are actually struggling with self, you know, self issues, the whole self part, you know, the , the far , the self esteem, self confidence . And there are so many people that are struggling with that, you know, and trying to figure out how we're gonna get from one day to the next, with the pandemic and all that stuff that's been going on. Hasn't made our life a whole lot easier. Yeah . And, and we still have to struggle, but there, there are people as a good mentor, if you take and spend a bit of time with somebody who does have for, for lack of a better way to describe who is dealing with personal , uh , personal growth issues, if you can spend some time and gain their confidence, you'll help them gain their own confidence. And they'll then be able to start to deal with some of this stuff on their own, or at least be able to open up enough that they can share with you. Mm-hmm <affirmative> what some of the challenges are that they're going through. So that you're, you're , you're better equipped to help them move forward.Bettina:
Yeah. Yeah. And, and I like how you did talk about the trust. It's a two way street and there are some people, and doesn't make either the mentee or mentor a bad person, but sometimes you just don't fit. And sometimes you absolutely click. So it's not just competence. It is also chemistry. And, and that just is sometimes you have also written a book, the gift of mentoring, share a little bit about your, you know, this process for you. This thing is obviously this is something you love, you created an organization, you wrote a book, how was this process of writing this book kind of the fruit of your labor?Douglas:
It , well, it's one of the fruits , so that's, that's probably, it it's one of the fruit that , that was hanging from the , it was low hanging fruit or so I thought, but what the gift of mentoring was , uh , I, when I first started back in 2009 , I , I worked with a search engine optimization person who tied me to a chair and, and made me write all these blog articles on a regular schedule basis. And what we ended up doing for the book, the gifted mentoring was we took the , the compilation of all of those articles and put them together and then wrote case studies to go along with what I had written about in , in those blogs . And so it ended up that I had obviously enough materials, enough content there to, for, for a book, but the idea behind it was with the gift of mentoring, it was to get the word out. Number one, that, you know, this is what mentoring is, and this is what it can do, cuz we speak about, you know, what are the benefits, you know, from a organizational perspective, what are the benefits as an individual who wants to be mentored or is a mentor? So what are the benefits in , in all of those? So the book spoke , speaks to that. And then I dovetail some of my, the case studies or my own personal experiences that I had with individuals. And it was, you know, here's the case study and then here's kind of the response. So it gave people, you know, it didn't, I didn't plant a seed and not water it. I didn't walk away from, or I , I didn't walk away from it. I , uh , tried to nurture and keep it growing. And I used the, like, I , I remember I took, I think it was 12 books. I spoke at a , uh , a one world summit in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. And I, I had , I think it was a 20 minute talk. And at the end I said, you know, I have to apologize. You know, it was primarily all , uh , all, all females. And I said, I have to apologize. I only brought 12 books. And if I'd have known what I know now, you know, I could have had a whole bunch shipped and everything else, but I'm so sorry. I only have 12. So here's what we'll do is the first 12 of you to meet me in the lobby, get the books. Well , that was not a good thing to say <laugh> it was , it was like a stamp. It was there <laugh> and it was, I was here first. No , I was here first. No, I was here first and we went back and forth and finally the books went and I had kept a couple tucked away that I could see a couple of folks with long faces going, oh gosh, I should have moved that person out of the way. And I just come with me and , and I , I , I gave the books because what I , what I was seeing was that if I did that, I was furthering knowledge of mentoring. I was doing it i n, in a , in a , in a fashion a nd context where the people were, were scrambling to get the books I knew were g oing t o read t hemBettina:
And they were looking for sort of that nugget that they were going to be able to get from that book. Right?Bettina:
Yeah. Yeah. So with my podcast, it's called in the rising. So a lot of people that I interview all of them actually have gone through some things they're here now, but that's not the end of their story. What are you still, what do you see on the horizon for you? What are your plans for you, your company, or anything of that nature?Douglas:
Um , well, a couple , um , my second look is scheduled for release on the 17th of January.Bettina:
So, yeah, I'm very pumped about that. So , uh , really pumped cuz it takes, takes mentoring in a little bit different direction, so it takes us into mentoring, being part of the support structure for mental health. So, so yeah, I'm pretty pumped about that. And what I also see is I see the certification process for mentoring , um , growing. I also see that , uh , when we come back to that two horse race, coaching and mentoring, I'm , I'm already seeing the mentoring horses is starting to nudge ever so slightly ahead. And I'm what I'm envisioning that's going to take place is people and organizations are going to say just a minute, let's go and kick the tires on this mentoring thing and seeing what that's all about. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I think that's what, where that's gonna go and you know, that's going to be, that would be monumental for us to be able to move that forward. Just for me, from a, when I look at it from a legacy standpoint of, you know, what I wanna lead behind that's that's what it would be is that, you know, the world has embraced mentoring and mentoring concepts and that they have, you know, put that into place in worldwide with the idea in mind of making the world a better place to be.Bettina:
Yeah. And, and underneath everything, it's about making the world a better place to be and leaving that legacy of clearly all this work, but the lives that you change, that you see and all the lives that you've made an impact and you won't know about it for a long time. So , um, it's really outstanding work commendable work. And I really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your achievements , uh , with me today.Douglas:
Well, thank you for the opportunity. It's been really, truly a , great blessing to be able to have this conversation with you today.Bettina:
So where do we even start with all of the golden nuggets in this podcast? You know, Doug Lawrence has a lot of excitement and vigor in the topic of mentoring. He takes this serious and you could tell by the way he talked about it, I could tell by the way he looked, when he was giving his conversation, but he also is a volunteer mentor with the sir Richard Branson entrepreneur program. He has developed a program. He has worked with others. He is excited about this. And if you are a person interested in mentoring just on an individual basis or would like to learn more for your organization, I really encourage you to learn more about mentorship, how to reduce turnover and how to get this zeal for someone's career. Maybe your own to really make a change. If you found this podcast valuable, I encourage you to leave a five star review and also share it with someone. It does so much to put it in the hands and ears of someone whose life it could really change or transform. And I thank you so much for your time because you know what, we don't get that back. And until next time let's keep building one another up.