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Mentoring is not ‘will he or she support me?’ will they guide me through some of the most critical moments of my life? It’s understanding that an individual you look too as a mentor becomes a fundamental piece (yes literally a fundamental piece) of your life before you even know it or understand why you personally see them as a mentor. …

By Mark Richards

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Mark is current a non executive Director of a number of Global businesses.

I had had a bad day at work. I was stuck. I didn’t know how to solve the problem. I wasn’t happy and it showed!

My boss saw me. “Mark!” he said, “You’ve got a monkey on your back! Tell me the problem.” Fifteen minutes later, the world looked very different, he’d given some great advice, and I knew how to move forward. The weight was lifted, the relief huge, and it’s a day I still remember 30 years later.

Another job, another problem, I had to research and write a speech for the company CEO. After two minutes writing, I realised, I knew nothing whatsoever on the topic and had no point of view at all. It was clearly going to be a disaster, rather awkward as the boss was speaking to an international conference the following morning covered by the press! Up to then, I thought I was quite good at the job, but now humiliation was beckoning. In desperation, I phoned a colleague, he didn’t know much either. “Try Ahmed”, who worked in a different country for the firm, he said, and whom I had never heard of. …

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Meet Ian Smart, Thrive advocate, ex Grant Thornton Partner and mentor on Connect Mentors.

Talking Thrive platform, all things community building, the importance of collaborating and mentoring.

Tell us more about The Thrive platform?

Thrive is an online platform that allows you to connect your community, association or organisation. As we are all becoming more used to working and talking remotely, Thrive enables great conversations to take place wherever you are — people coming together and sharing brilliant insights, ideas and experiences.

What are its benefits?

Thrive enables you to turn your loose connections into a collaborative and supportive network. …


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Aerate is a social enterprise that creates and develops scaleable concepts that connect and support people through online platforms and applications.

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