Stepping into a new leadership role is fraught with risk, often requiring new business leaders to confront a whole new set of experiences and decisions. Behaviours, leadership style and relationship skills become increasingly important, but senior leaders are often assumed to “know it all”, and exposing gaps in knowledge or judgement can feel detrimental.
CMi provides business leaders with structured, personalised and confidential mentoring from an international roster of leading Chairs.
CMi has mentored over 300 global leaders in the last 19 years
Each mentoring engagement is tailored to the particular requirements of the company and the mentee. With our prestigious mentor roster, CMi is able to assign more than one mentor to a mentee, which adds perspective and breadth. A clear framework for an effective mentoring relationship is set out and established for each assignment.
CMi mentoring is directed towards five distinct groups:
CMi’s mentoring is targeted at a turning-point in a leader’s career, for example at the time of promotion from Executive Committee to Board. Leaders are invariably deeply scrutinised by senior colleagues, and new leaders are required to make far-reaching business decisions that are often fraught with risk and complexity. The mentoring is a key risk-mitigation factor for these strategic appointments, as the counsel and guidance of an experienced Chair mentor can make the difference between success and failure.
"My CMi mentoring has been energising and enlightening and a great support, and provided constructive challenge. Having two very different but highly experienced Chairs as mentors provided me with a sounding-board unlike any other. I could test and debate real issues in a totally confidential way that I didn’t have access to in any other forum."
Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group plc
All of CMi's engagements are bespoke and adapted to the situation
Mentor selection is vital. Mentor background, geographical/sector experience and network are important; however personal chemistry is the overriding factor for a successful and mutually rewarding relationship. We place great emphasis on finding the right mentors for each mentee, carefully matching backgrounds, experience, “chemistry” and personality.
Confidentiality is paramount. Each engagement is governed by individual agreements stipulating what information can be shared between the mentor(s) and the mentee’s company, developed with the mentee’s knowledge and blessing.
Confidential access to seasoned and independent Chairs enables the leader to test ideas with a highly experienced and impartial confidant who offers a fresh perspective and a valuable second opinion.
SINCE 2002 CMi HAS PIONEERED BEST PRACTICE CEO
AND BOARD-LEVEL MENTORING
What distinguishes mentoring from coaching?
At top management level, a mentor is a role model who has ‘made it’; whose experience, wisdom and network are relevant to the mentee’s job and future career. A Coach provides feedback and behavioural advice to maximise a leader’s effectiveness, but often has not worked in an equivalent role him/herself.
Why do you recommend two mentors instead of one?
Around 80% of our mentees prefer the two-Mentor model. It provides them with a second opinion and different perspectives on issues that are not black or white, particularly when the mentors have different routes-up, industry background, nationalities and style.
How do you match CMi mentors and mentees?
We know all of our mentors’ style, preferences, strengths and availability. We can only attempt to suggest potentially suitable mentors after having met the mentee to understand where he/she is coming from, the inflection point they are passing or facing, anticipated forward journey and personality. This information is corroborated with other sources around the mentee, e.g. the Chair, HRD, or immediate superior. We then propose four or five mentors and encourage the mentee to research them, after which we jointly agree on one or two. Acquaintance meetings are then scheduled - with no commitment on either side - during which personal chemistry and expectations are tested before the relationship is confirmed.
What do CMi mentors and mentees talk about when they meet?
The content of their conversations is confidential - and both parties sign agreements to this effect. The mentors act as sounding boards on delicate and important relationship issues and behaviour such as conflicting situations with ExCo and board colleagues, strained Chair - Chief Executive relationships, blind spots; in short, matters that can be difficult, even career limiting, to raise with insiders. Even the best run companies have unwritten codes of behaviour, a dose of conflict and friction at the top, and those potential minefields can be difficult to navigate without having an experienced neutral outsider to confide in.
How often do they meet?
Typically every six to eight weeks to give the mentee time to internalize and try out what has been discussed and sufficiently often to further the relationship and keep momentum in the exchange of ideas and learning.Based on positive feedback from our mentees and mentors, our mentoring sessions will be a hybrid of face to face and virtual meetings.
What sets CMi apart from its competitors?
CMi pioneered best practice in CEO and board level mentoring, accelerating the performance of senior leaders and Board members. CMi provides business leaders with structured, personalised and confidential mentoring from an international roster of leading Chairs. CMi’s partner presence is in a number of jurisdictions and they understand the need to global while being local. Finally, CMi only accept mentees and situations where we can contribute materially.
Who are the CMi mentors?
All of CMi’s mentors are, or have been, Chairs. They know the boardroom from all angles; as Executive Committee members, as CEOs, as Non-Executives and as Chairs of the Board. This holistic experience gives them broad and diverse perspectives on how businesses are run and on how Boards function at their best. However; star reputation is not sufficient. They must also be genuinely interested in developing leaders who are ten or more years behind them on their experience and learning curve.
Who are the CMi mentees?
Top leaders; the best of the best - first-time Chairs, CEOs, CFOs and the top of the internal CEO and CFO benches. As far from remedial as it is possible to be! Leaders the company wants to continue to develop and would hate to let fail or lose. They don’t require help and are well equipped for promotion - but an independent, external mentor who has been there and ‘done it’ can make the ascension safer and faster, accelerate performance, facilitate transition to new roles and mitigate the risk of strategic appointments.
What does CMi not do?
We are not a recruitment or management business and hence can never be conflicted. Our mentors will not advise on acquisitions or rights-issues. We do not do remedial mentoring - our sole mission is to help the best leaders become even better.