Updated: Feb 1, 2018
What a Mentor Knows
It is only fitting that my first blog post be about mentorship. On October 1, 2017 ICM will celebrate our 20th year in business. Without the mentorship of Mr. John Turner, a brilliant, patient and generous man, it is quite likely there would be no ICM.
Mentorship is the Selfless Empowerment of Another
If a person is very fortunate, he or she will have one great mentor in their lifetime. That mentor will be a wellspring of information, knowledge accumulated from decades of invaluable experience. The mentor will work to steer his pupil away from the pitfalls that waste time, drain financial resources and steal dreams. Always a trusted advisor, a mentor can be a sounding board for new ideas who can be trusted to maintain confidentiality and give untainted feedback.
A great mentor will inspire professional and personal growth in his pupil. John stressed the value of integrity early in our relationship. It is important to work harder improving oneself than on improving one’s business.
The Mirror of Truth
A great mentor guides his pupil with a combination of tools and skills. One of the most powerful tools possessed by the mentor is the Mirror of Truth. It is a rare pupil who can gaze into the Mirror of Truth and recognize himself. It is a great mentor that helps him see himself despite even the loudest protestations. Every entrepreneur knows the grim facts. Most startups fail. When a new business is born and the founder asks, “will it survive?”, the answer is most often found in the Mirror of Truth.
A Great Gift
I’ve always appreciated a hand-crafted gift, a one-of a-kind thing that has a bit of the giver embedded
within. I appreciate the effort, time and care that goes into the creation. I have dubbed John’s great, hand-crafted gift to me The Turner Consulting Model. John worked to perfect his model over decades. For anyone considering a career as a consultant or the ambitious soul mentoring a consultant, the Turner Model is packed with well-worn wisdom.
The Wisdom of the Turner Model
The Client Always Comes First! A consulting business that revolves around anything but the client is doomed. Strive to Build Strategic Partnerships. The foundation of a valuable partnership always includes honest communication, collaboration, and high quality client support systems. Honest communication is the recognition that the truth is always, easily found when we search in the best interest of the client. Collaboration based upon clear communication of goals and preferences produces powerful partnerships propelled by the synergy of complementary expertise. Recognize the value in the discipline of a sound client-centered process.
Develop analytic tools that help the client see his path to success more clearly. Interpret data in pure client-centered terms- no jargon. Support the integration of data analysis and strategy development.
Demonstrate loyalty to your client and commitment to your project. Investment Advisors and most other consultants are engaged to add a level of expertise that is not possessed by the client. On occasion supervisors may request progress reports and an assessment of value added from your client. A successful consultant will display expert communication in describing priorities and progress to layman in supervisory roles. This requires delicate honesty, a clear presentation of concepts and a willingness to field push back and skepticism in the most positive manner.
A great consultant knows when to stand behind his client, deflecting praise to the wisdom of his client and his/her adroit use of the finest tools and process. The same consultant recognizes when to get out in front of his client to shield him from the heat, field the rough questions and reassure supervisors that they are all on the path to success.
I asked John many times over the course of our long and prized relationship how I might ever repay him. John taught me that the best way to repay a mentor is to become one. Perhaps the best I can do is say thank you. Thank you for holding the Mirror of Truth steady and constant, helping me see my reflection. Thank you for sharing the Turner Model that has been ICM’s foundation, helping sustain our client-centered success for 20 years.
Mentorship truly is the Selfless Empowerment of Others.
And the Turner Model provides a fine guideline for any aspiring consultant.