We have recently taken on one of our first consulting mentoring projects. Since our focus is on delivering growth and profitability for manufacturing and distribution companies, we focus on business-to-business. With that said, every consulting project involves some level of coaching to individuals in order to deliver results.

Since we consider results to be the 80/20 of our business, we put quite a bit of attention on coaching the appropriate employees (from line supervision to the executive team) to achieve the desired outcome. Thus, when a consulting mentoring opportunity arose with a mentee that was serious about achieving results, we jumped on it. And, we are glad we did!

It brings up the topic of knowing who to follow. It seems like an obvious topic to consider yet I often find my clients following “undesirable” exemplars with the expected (and unfortunate) results. My consulting mentor says “follow someone who has been there and done that”; not someone who can talk about what to do but has never done it before. He uses the example of a ski instructor. Would you follow a ski instructor’s advice that could talk a good game but didn’t know how to navigate the black diamond hills? Me either! It is similar to looking for a cheap heart surgeon. Who does that?

Search for mentors and coaches who can help you navigate the most complex issues that arise because they have experienced it before – or something like it.