Mentoring takes people further

SociaLink, the umbrella organisation for the western Bay’s social agencies and charities, offers mentoring opportunities for not-for-profit organisations to help them grow their staff.

SociaLink Mentoring Coordinator Jo Weise says she’d love to hear from anyone with leadership experience who can work with general managers, center managers, board chairs etc, and who understands the joys and constraints of the not-for-profit sector.

“We attract mentees from a diverse range of contexts and appreciate diversity in the mentors we draw on.

“Anyone could use a mentor at any stage of their career. Anyone who feels they’d like to
enhance their leadership skills, anyone who could offer their expertise to others – it’s a
wonderful way to connect and give back to your community.

“All organisations can benefit from that experience and we are achieving excellent results.”

Mentee Jamie Troughton can attest to the value he got from a mentoring relationship with his mentor, Wayne Shadbolt.

After a year on the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service board, he put his hand up for the chair role. The club patrols beaches and responds to call-outs on Mauao, and challenges include fundraising to cover costs, running a functions centre and ensuring there are enough trained, capable lifeguards to cover patrols.

“It was a massive, massive learning curve for me, with plenty of tricky personality and logistical pressures. Luckily, one of our independent board members recommended SociaLink’s mentoring programme and I jumped at the opportunity.

“Throughout the next six months, I met regularly with Wayne over a coffee and a scone. His experience was invaluable and he was consistently helpful and positive.
“Much of what I was missing was the technical side of running a board – assigning tasks and learning to delegate – and Wayne’s wisdom shone, with simple, clever solutions. As I grew in confidence, he kept challenging me and by the end of our sessions, I not only had a lot more comfort in managing the diverse personalities that make up a volunteer board but a greater sense of my values and what I stood for,” Jamie says.

“I’ve subsequently stepped down from the role but have taken nothing but positives from it and look forward to being involved in more governance opportunities in future.

Mentor Wayne Shadbolt’s background includes 25 years in the corporate sector.

“With my first company I had great support through a business coach for two years, which gave me the grounding to be able to expand into start-up new companies. The skills learnt with the ups and downs of business helps to develop strength and resilience,” he said.

“The Kollective (SociaLink) programme covered a different dynamic of people and organisations from what I had already been doing over the last few years but I had moved a bit more into local social enterprises and organisations.

“You need to have the ability to listen to the person/organisation you are involved with. This gives you a clear idea on what skills you are able to assist them with in developing their business or organisation.

“One of the main things that I get out of being a mentor is to see the person or organisation that I’m working with succeed, or adjust and get the best that they possibly can.

“It is great to see their successes achieved from an idea, restructure or self-assessment. To help strengthen the resilience in their skill base needed for them to achieve the best that they can do. They can then take that to the people they work with or use those skills themselves to become a mentor and help other people and organisations achieve the same results,” he said.

“Over the years the community and businesses have supported me and my companies so its also time to give back and help build the skills needed to achieve their goals and resilience in these stressful times. An offshoot of mentoring is the friendships you develop not only with other Mentors but with the people and organisations you are working with.”

Jo Weise says anyone looking for a mentor, or keen to be one, can contact her at