'Don't be afraid to develop staff to take over your job'

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
14 May 2015

Mentors should not be afraid to develop staff to take over their job, according to Kurt Warren, associate director, logistics and supply chain management at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the CIPS Middle East Conference this week, Warren said acting as a mentor had been the most rewarding part of his 30 year career, but letting go of the fear of losing your job was critical to be successful.

“The key thing for being a mentor is you should never be frightened to develop someone to take over your job. Because if you are frightened of losing your job, you will never be a good mentor,” he said.

"Those who need advice should also not be afraid to request help. No matter where you are in your career, do not be frightened to ask for help or do not be frightened to ask for someone to mentor you,” Warren said.

“When my junior members of staff come back from training they give presentations and they are teaching me and mentoring me with new ideas and new concepts. So throughout your career, embrace being a mentor.

“There is nothing better when you get long in the tooth, than seeing people’s careers growing and then becoming a mentor.”

Having a mentor can also help you find a job, according to recruitment consultant Graham Whitworth from Morgan McKinley.

“A mentor can help you bridge a gap between a hiring manager and the level of experience you have today. A mentor championing your cause, and championing you as a person can help,” he told delegates at the event in Abu Dhabi.

“I do think hiring managers are slowly starting to look at the potential of a person, not necessarily the skills you have. And they are relying on mentors to recommend them when making hiring decisions."

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