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Viewpoint: It’s never too late to learn something

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Viewpoint: It’s never too late to learn something

A mentor helps you negotiate uncharted territory and offers invaluable support, says Adam Rowledge, general manager at the Georgian House

Mentoring is not just a form of support for people starting out in their career, but a valuable tool for any business or professional looking to get where they want to go with focus and speed.

Business mentoring has become increasingly popular in hospitality as operators look to one another to be inspired and learn from real-life experience. This sharing of knowledge, perspective and contacts is so important when it comes to shaping the next generation of industry leaders to fulfil their potential. It gives them access to resources that will benefit them as they navigate the path to success, as an individual and as part of a team. It’s of huge benefit to those further along the path too, offering fantastic opportunities to expand your professional network and gain support during challenging phases or transitions.

In an industry that is ever-evolving and where innovation is key, the guidance of a mentor can help you to tackle new challenges with the wisdom of experience. It also plays a significant role in developing the leadership capabilities and emotional intelligence of the mentors themselves.

Our industry is an exciting place to be and it’s so important that hospitality leaders champion best practice and educate their peers in areas such as employee welfare and company culture. Getting these right is vital if we want to make hospitality jobs a more attractive proposition. We need to share the responsibility of inspiring people to pursue a rewarding career if we are going to address the staff shortage.

The Institute of Hospitality (IoH) provides an excellent mentoring programme, Mentor Me, which pairs aspiring managers and future leaders with more established industry figures across a number of sectors.

As chair of the Sussex Branch of the IoH and as a mentor myself, I am championing the scheme to ensure we are reaching across the breadth of the country to provide every aspiring hospitality professional with the opportunity to work with a mentor. This approach to learning and development will help shape their future career beyond the walls of their own business, providing valuable insight and guidance that will be passed on as they continue to develop and nurture the next generation.

I’m extremely passionate about providing support in the capacity of a mentor, but I also recognise that mentoring is a lifelong process, as we never stop learning. I still have a huge amount that I can benefit from by having a mentor of my own and am grateful to the Master Innholders and St Julian Scholars for being so active in promoting this element of continual professional development. If you haven’t already signed up to a mentoring scheme – as a mentor, mentee or both – then I would definitely encourage you to do so, and start reaping the benefits sooner rather than later.

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