Our fourth and final feature in this multi-part series on the careers, insights and suggestions of independent Non-Executive Directors (NEDs). Once again, as some markets emphasise when a director is independent but others don’t, our shorthand NED includes independent NEDs (iNEDs). Like Part One, Part Two and Part Three in this series, this instalment covers a range of financial services industries, while also showcasing an experienced NED who serves on boards in other industries too. In addition, this article includes someone who acts primarily as an executive, while performing a non-executive role for an unrelated organisation too, illustrating how different the roles are.
Read more below for the career experiences and suggestions of Marjorie Ngwenya, Nicolaas Kruger, and Kirshni Totaram, the next three NEDs profiled.
At Protagion, we regularly suggest forward-looking self-reflection exercises for our members, especially as they can help us imagine possibilities by shifting our focus from present constraints. One example is our career timecapsule exercise which encourages long-term thinking.
We came across another application of this future-self idea, thanks to Tara Mohr, author of Playing Big*. It's an exercise she herself learnt from the Coaches Training Institute, and involves imagining an older, wiser you, decades into the future. Tara refers to this vision as our “inner mentor” and with her coaching clients has found that once we have a vivid sense of this future version of ourselves, we discover that he/she exists as a voice within us right now.
There is a voice in each of us that is unburdened by fear and untouched by insecurity, that has utter calm, that emanates love for oneself and others, and that knows exactly who we would be if we were brave enough to show up as our true selves. The ‘inner mentor’ is a way of accessing that part of us, a tool to tap into it. It can then become one’s personal guide to playing bigger.”
The visualisation exercise is most useful when we have some life experience, including being more open to listening to our elders – even if it’s an internal rather than external elder we’re tapping into. So, it works better for qualified professionals than scholars or students, for example. We feel your inner mentor is a helpful addition to your Mentorship Board, especially as they will know you best of all your mentors, and are always accessible to you. Our inner mentors function as a source of guidance, a voice we can draw on to develop a vision for our lives and careers, to help us make tough decisions, and to chart our unique paths.
Interestingly, an inner mentor is conceptually aligned with, although opposite to, the ‘advice I’d give my younger self’ style of career guidance experienced mentors share. An example on our website is Tim Rozar’s career advice. In this vein, we can consider an inner mentor as ‘advice I’d ask my older self for’.
Read more to see how to envisage your inner mentor and consult with him/her, compare ‘outer’ and inner mentors, and consider how to grow toward our inner mentors step by step, decision by decision.
A new year, a fresh beginning, and a further opportunity to make personal improvements. Given the stresses of the year that’s past and a jolly festive season, right now many of us are likely to be thinking about our fitness levels and managing our weight and health. Some will have tested different techniques in the past, with varying degrees of success for us. We explore a few of these in this post, and use the fitness analogy to position how Protagion’s services can help to get your career into shape too.
To put different techniques or interventions in context, let’s consider a framework with two dimensions:
Our preference for different techniques will depend on a wide variety of factors, including:
Once our interest in improving our fitness has been piqued, our first step is probably to do some research: what have others done, what’s been personally successful or not for us in the past etc. This helps us frame our initial goals, the targets we set for ourselves once we’ve taken the active decision to move from exploring to doing.
Read more to see examples of techniques in all the quadrants of the framework, from generalised activities we can do on our own, to more personalised examples of technology-supported guidance, to activities where we are supported by others (the human touch): generalised fitness communities to personalised coaching and training. We then apply the same framework to getting our careers in shape, highlighting career-related examples of resources and services, including those offered by Protagion Active Career Management. Hopefully these inspire you to achieve your professional goals too.