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NEW Toronto mentees told to ‘be bold, ask questions’

Thursday, October 17, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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More than 100 mentors and mentees participated in NEW Toronto’s second mentoring event of the year, Oct. 3, 2013 at Mississauga Convention Centre in Mississauga, Ont.

NEW Toronto Co-Chairs Karen Young, general manager at Nestlé Waters, and Michele Hardinge, former senior vice president, fresh food for Walmart Canada, moderated the event, which allowed emerging leaders to rotate through mentoring circles led by senior industry executives.

Attendance for this event was twice that of NEW Toronto’s April mentoring session. Nine of the 28 mentors and six of 90 mentees were male.

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Young advised emerging leaders to "Be bold, ask questions, get yourself noticed,” emphasizing the importance of self-presentation. "Be aware of not only what you say, but how you say it. Body language is a very important part of your brand.”

Dana Childerhose, vice president of global business services, client service for Nielsen, urged attendees to "say yes,” adding that "companies are looking to see how you can rise to a challenge.” Childerhose recommends finding ways to say "yes” that make clear your ability to take on stretch assignments, while being realistic.

Other lessons offered included:

  • Envision yourself already "at the table” — how you will show up and what you will contribute. Recognize the ways in which you can advance the organization.
  • Work smart, with a critical eye. Observe and understand others’ accomplishments. Recognize what outcomes they were able to drive and what you can learn in respect to the organization’s values and your own leadership skills.
  • Resilience is a critical trait of leadership. Organizations benefit from and seek out leaders who have the capacity to weather the storm. It’s important to learn from setbacks and regarding them as springboards to move forward. This requires your ability to frame and take ownership and control of emotions.
  • Avoid equating growing and learning with losing your authentic self. As you grow in your role, continue to remind yourself what is of utmost importance. This continual self-assessment allows you to tap into the strengths and passions that can advance the business.

NEW Toronto Co-Chair Michele Hardinge, Fotini Iconomopoulos
The Gap Partnership and Dean Knipfel of SC Johnson connect
at the 
NEW Toronto mentoring event.

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