Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Doug Lawrence
Doug Lawrence gives great advice on how to land a client, make difficult decisions and talks about transitioning from a 25 year career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police into becoming an international certified mentor and creating the International Mentoring Community. Doug has spent the past 21 years developing tools and programs to help mentor individuals and improve company culture thereby increasing productivity and lowering employee turnover for his clients. With over 25 thousand hours in the field of mentoring itself, as a speaker, author, facilitator, trainer, researcher and practitioner, Doug is well and truly a mentoring export. He shares his years of knowledge in his book, The Gift of Mentoring and with the International Mentoring Community (IMC) he co-founded in 2018.
[00:00:00] Jolie: [00:00:00] Today we are speaking with Doug Lawrence. Doug started his career with 25 years working with the Royal Canadian mounted police before taking on a leadership role in the private sector. Doug is now an international certified mentor spending the past 21 years developing tools and programs to help mentor individuals and improve company culture, thereby increasing productivity and lowering employee turnover for his clients.
[00:00:32] With over 25,000 hours in the field of mentoring itself as a speaker, author, facilitator, trainer, researcher, and practitioner, Doug is well and truly a mentoring expert. He shares his years of knowledge in his book. The gift of mentoring. And with the international mentoring community, which he co-founded in 2018, I am excited to learn more about your story, Doug, please.
[00:01:02] Could you tell us a little bit about your path to getting where you are today? Yeah.
[00:01:07] Doug Lawrence: [00:01:07] First off. Thank you for this wonderful opportunities. Thank you for having me on your podcast. Greatly. Appreciate it. That's a really good question. I'll do the reader's digest version, which is Saskatchewan, Canada farm boy grew up wanting to be a member of the Royal Canadian mounted police and was successful in doing so spent 25 years, thereabouts bouncing all over.
[00:01:32] Canada, spent time in that sounds rather terse, but was stationed in in the Arctic and spent, we actually spent nine years up in the Northwest territories before eventually coming back to, as we call it civilization, for lack of a better choice of words. But so in the RCMP, and then from there, I went into the private sector in some leadership positions back into provincial government and in the fall of 2009, I.
[00:02:02] After job coaching university students. And that's a whole other story. I ended up starting my own business TalentC people services incorporated. And we're primarily if not all focused on mentoring. So all things mentoring and that's where I am today is I'm a full-time international mentor.
[00:02:21] I work with individuals in all walks of life and all levels of an organization. And just recently we've launched a certification, it's a sort of a certificate of competence journey mentor with a focus on working with individuals who are struggling with mental health, mental wellbeing challenges. And so the mentoring part fits right into that support structure quite nicely.
[00:02:46] And so that's one of the things we're definitely moving forward with.
[00:02:50] Jolie: [00:02:50] Oh, that's fantastic. And especially right now is so needed. So thank you for doing that. That's wonderful. I'm really fascinated. There's a lot of things in here that I'm fascinated with, but I'm not quite sure where to start, but first I want to thank you for what you're doing, because it is so important.
[00:03:08] And I don't. I don't know that it gets as much attention as it should. Mentoring and I say that because coming from a place where I actually had a bad experience with a mentor, and I would say that for a great part of my life, I didn't look for, or want a mentor because of that experience.
[00:03:27] But then I had someone be a really good mentor without me asking poor or trying for just opens you up like nothing else. It's really something very beautiful and much more needed in our society. So thank you for that. Now I'm curious because you were, I'm a police officer for 25 years and I love that's something that you wanted to do as a child and that you made that happen for yourself.
[00:03:54] That's Bravo for that. What was that like for you leaving though, making that transition from this career that you've had for 25 years and going into a brand new sector, what made you make that decision? And B what was that like for you?
[00:04:11] Doug Lawrence: [00:04:11] So why? Sorry, why did I make that move? It was. I've read. Two things. Number one, the first was that I was concerned that I would not be marketable if I stayed in the RCMP much longer, it would be one of those things where you're at that crossroads and you have to make a decision. Do I go left or do I go right?
[00:04:32] Or do I stay the course? And for me it was I didn't want to end up doing jobs that I used to look at and say, if I, when I went and if I do retire from the police force, The last place I want to go on work is there. And so I didn't want to be forced into having to make that decision.
[00:04:52] And so I left the force somewhat on my own volition, but the other part that pushed me out was the culture, the RCMP culture had started to shift back then, and it was becoming more of More of a workplace that it wasn't as desirable as when I first joined the force. So there was, now that contributed to my decision as to where I should go.
[00:05:17] And when I should go in, I made the decision that here was, I have this opportunity to get into the private sector, into a leadership position and, to be able to to do what I now know as mentoring, but to be able to mentor others, to help them grow from a leadership perspective, because you see, I, even in the RCMP, I was in leadership positions.
[00:05:39] Most of my career, I worked with other people in different roles and responsibilities and that, and I became a mentor unbeknownst to me that's what it was called, but I became a mentor to a lot of people. As they were going through their career in the RCMP, whether it be as a police officer or whether it was as a civilian member, a public servant, all of those different categories of employees that I became, that person that they could reach out to for guidance, not so much as to tell me what I need to do to fix this, but ask me a series of questions to help me figure it out on my own.
[00:06:19] Jolie: [00:06:19] that's great. That's wonderful. And what was that like as a transition for you going, because a police, the police force is really a, it's a very specific type of role that you're holding and then to go into a completely different realm and that, you had 25 years in, so it's a little bit you're in life at this point.
[00:06:36] Yes. So was it scary for you? Was it exciting? How was that transition for you? Because I asked because I assume that a lot of people are probably in some transition times right now.
[00:06:47] Doug Lawrence: [00:06:47] so I I found it, it was challenging, but it was also exciting at the same time. The transition from the RCMP life to the private sector, one of the things that I now suggest to people is don't. Don't quit your one job on a Friday and start your next one on a Monday because that's probably not going to work well.
[00:07:09] And it didn't. I ended up, I landed at the wrong time. It was it was the annual performance reviews that were taking place. And of course, tied to that because it was a private sector, work, performance bonuses and all that. So everybody was on, walking on. Pins and needles as to am I going to get my bonus this year or not?
[00:07:28] And nobody had time to help me transition from my RCMP days into the private sector. So I sat in limbo for probably a couple of weeks. And that's two weeks that I probably could have just said, I'm going to take that time to discharge everything that I've had in my mind about my time in the force.
[00:07:48] And start to, recharge to get ready for my new challenges and stuff, because here's the interesting part was I was still recovering from post-traumatic stress and didn't know it at the time. So that extra two weeks would have been of great value to me.
[00:08:08] Jolie: [00:08:08] Yeah. I can only imagine Any role or that is needed, but for coming from a role such as being a police officer, I can only imagine the PTSD that you had to deal with. And yeah, I would imagine you could really use just a vacation because that's a serious job. That's much, much different than, as a recruiter sitting behind a desk.
[00:08:26]But even so regardless of what your role is getting that time in between the job and being able to clear yourself, that's a gift that so often in life, we don't get either, in, until we're done or what have you. So getting a little bit of a break when you know something good is coming, that's even better.
[00:08:43]So tell me, because you've done a lot now, through these past 21 years, you've held different roles. You started this community, which I'm very interested in. How did that come about? Starting this mentoring community.
[00:08:53]Doug Lawrence: [00:08:53] So the international mentoring community was a labor of love between myself and my business partner, Dr. Steven hops, and we got introduced to each other. So maybe I'll back up the story a little bit and just. What ended up happening was when I formed a TalentC back in 2009.
[00:09:15] One of my objectives that I saw from my market research that I had done was that there was a place for an independent body to provide mentor certification. So you could go if you were a executive coach or a business coach, whatever. There were places you could go and get certified, based on your coaching capabilities and taking training and so on and so forth.
[00:09:38] But there was nothing out there that specifically addressed mentoring. And so I decided that I was going to go ahead and do that, and it was going to be what was going to set us apart was the fact that it was an independent body. So I ended up. Finding organization in the United States that I partnered with and they provided the rigor around the certification process.
[00:10:03] It was very much knowledge based, not competence-based, but for where we were with the journey at that particular time, the knowledge base was probably the right decision. And so I formed that partnership with them. And we did that until I think it was 2017 when we agreed to kind of part ways. Part of the reason for that was the mentoring community as a whole was looking for yes, mentor certification, but based on competence.
[00:10:36] So they want it to be certified competent as a mentor. And my current partner in the U S was not able or not willing to step in and provide that. And so Dr. Hobbs, Dr. Stephen Hobbs, and I started to have conversations. We did a couple of presentations to actually to my old partner to say, okay, we can help you get along those paths.
[00:11:00] Long story short Dr. Hobbs is is my guru go-to person for ISO for international standards organization. Which governs the certification of people with one of the ISO standards. So he and I started to put stuff together. We started to create competency statements or action outcome statements, and we put all this stuff together and where we are today now, as a result of that is we have four different certifications two that are competence-based and two that are knowledge based.
[00:11:31]And so it's a progressive step that you can go through. And what we've set up is that the international mentoring community is going, is the independent body for the certification of mentors. So when it comes to the actual certification part, Dr. Hobbs takes care of that. And I stayed completely out of that so that there are no conflicts, a conflict of interest in any way, shape or form.
[00:11:56] Jolie: [00:11:56] That's wonderful. And I love that this was all born because you couldn't find something specific to that. So you built it. That's such a key to success right there. What would you say because you have done a lot through your life here, what would you say is key to continued success throughout life?
[00:12:11]Doug Lawrence: [00:12:11] Perseverance for sure. Without a doubt. And I had some stumbles and falls and. Pick myself up and dusted myself off and said, okay, don't do that again. And, but it's, it would definitely be persistence. And I think not, I think I know that we need to believe in ourself all too often.
[00:12:33] I find even with people that I'm working with in a mentoring relationship is. Their body language will tell me a story that they don't believe in who they are as a person. And it's very difficult to be able to, if you're selling services or goods, who's going to buy from somebody who doesn't believe in themself in the first place.
[00:12:54] Jolie: [00:12:54] What do you tell them to help them with that? Because that's a big deal. The body language is speaks volumes. What's some advice that you would give people who might be embodying that without realizing, and it can make some quick changes to help themselves.
[00:13:08]Doug Lawrence: [00:13:08] One of the simplest techniques and it's so simple that most people go like really is to take yellow post-it notes and sticky post-it notes. Put them on your mirror in your bathroom. And write positive affirmations on there. I am a good person. I deserve, I deserve to be treated well and just keep adding them and, change them every soul every day or every couple of days.
[00:13:34] But it's a positive affirmations and I have lots of people that we've done that with. And it's been absolutely remarkable. The outcome that's taken place. I had one young lady that we went through the whole, I called it a make-over process that we went through and how I described her was that when I first met her, if she were to walk into a dark room, you'd never see her.
[00:13:57] And after she spent some time and we went through and we did the positive affirmations, we did a number of different things. If she were to walk in a room, a dark room, she'd turned, she'd light the room up, but her positive energy was just out of the out of this world. And it was only because she made that shift.
[00:14:16] From not believing to believing.
[00:14:20] Jolie: [00:14:20] I love that it's so true. It makes all the difference in the world. And there are a lot of people who make fun of affirmations and. It is a life changer. I can attest that. I am, I've used them on myself and I have actually put notes on my own near. And it's a retraining of your brain if you will, because this be honest, a lot of us are really mean to ourselves and it's really sad and it shouldn't be that way.
[00:14:43] Now affirmations has helped change that process. That's a great suggestion. Now, what about, you mentioned that we all have challenges. We all have challenges and obstacles that we go through. What's been one of your greater challenges or obstacles that you've dealt with that you, you really learned something from.
[00:14:59] Doug Lawrence: [00:14:59] It was so when I was first starting out, it would have been. Probably late 2009, early 2010. And I was looking for partners, business partners. And so I got introduced to a couple of individuals in the U S I believe it was Minneapolis. And I ended up, I flew down and we spent some time together and they showed me what they could do to help move my business ahead and all that sort of stuff.
[00:15:26] And. I thought about it. I'm like, yeah. Okay. So I flew back home and I molded over, ponded it over and I, I think I'm gonna, I'm going to go with these people and w it really partnership, is a loose word, but we ended up working together. I had to front front them with 10, 10 grand.
[00:15:48] You, US in order for us to move forward. And long story short at the end of the day I was 10 grand out, so I got, I didn't get anything I was promised and there was no intent whatsoever on doing anything to cause I said how about how about a refund or even a partial refund? And they said we'll give you a credit of 10 K and you can use that, however, whenever you want.
[00:16:17] But it would have been pointless because they didn't understand the business concept that I was striving or moving ahead with. And so I basically, was 10 grand out. And so what that taught me was that I needed to be extremely cautious, extremely careful about the business partners that I chose.
[00:16:37] And one of those sort of the standing rules I have is if you want to do business with me, Explain to me what my business is. So what have you done research to be able to do that, to be able to do that? Who have you talked to? Who have you asked questions? It was I used to, when I was in the RCMP, I used to deal with vendors a lot.
[00:16:57] And I used to sit down with a vendor at coffee, who, a new vendor who would say, I want to do business with you. And I would turn around and say, so what is my business? And what are my five most pressing needs? That we as an organization have today that you can help me out with. And the majority of them couldn't answer that question.
[00:17:17]Jolie: [00:17:17] That's really good advice right there for everybody who wants to do business with anybody. That's really good. Now, how do you, how. Let's say someone wants to work with someone, and this is a good this is really great. And they do some research. How do you figure out what the problems are that someone is facing without talking to them?
[00:17:38]Is there a way, or is there certain questions that you can ask that can help you get to that before you start jumping in?
[00:17:43] Doug Lawrence: [00:17:43] Yeah. Typically, if it's you. Have a good sense of the questions, that you need to be asked. So I always suggest to vendors, turn it around, ask me the same questions. If I were to come to you as your new business partner, what would be the top five things you'd want me to deal with first? So I'm finding out by asking questions and I'm getting the answers that I need, where I can turn around and say, and I've had vendors say I can't bring any value.
[00:18:15] To what it is you need, but I know somebody who could, and so let me introduce you to that person. So it, yeah, it, it's I remember I can still see him. He I thought I worshiped the ground that he walked on because he was the troop customer service business executive. So he'd always sit down with me.
[00:18:38] And he would be the vendor and I would be the client and he'd say, solve the challenges that you've got, or this, and this. I can help you with these two, but I can, can't even come close. I'm the wrong person to bring in, to work on this third one. But I do have somebody that I can introduce you to.
[00:18:55] And I used to say, here's a guy that's willing to give up business to give to somebody else, but it's in the best interests of we being his client. And that, to me, that spoke like. Just copious quantities of here's a guy with a lot of, internal fortitude. That's going to put my, me seeing the value in him as my client executive over having to make a sale.
[00:19:24] Jolie: [00:19:24] And let me ask you this. Obviously you still remember this person
[00:19:28] Doug Lawrence: [00:19:28] Yeah. Oh, yes. Yeah.
[00:19:30] Jolie: [00:19:30] people. You don't forget those people. They make an impact. Yeah. Now it's wonderful. And that's just as a lesson in, in good business right there, helping others really helps you out. That's great. Now what about the flip side of it would have been, could, you've done a lot.
[00:19:44] What have been some of your greatest successes that you feel like either personal professional and what did you learn from it?
[00:19:52] Doug Lawrence: [00:19:52] I think so some of my greatest successes would be seeing some of the people that I worked with blossom into just phenomenal leaders and the organizations in this, a lot of these were individuals that were in the RCMP and not necessarily uniform police police officers, but, there was, I can think of two or three public servant employees that.
[00:20:21] Step to the plate and actually took on leadership roles and did so very well. And with obviously a little bit of mentoring and stuff like that, one of the things they used to say was if you go into Doug's office and you got a problem, you better bring a solution. Cause he's going to ask what's the solution.
[00:20:45] And if you don't have one, he's going to send either he'll do one or two things, he'll send you out and have you go on, figure out what a solution might be. Or he's going to ask you a bunch of questions and he's going to guide you to what the solution is. He's not going to tell you what it is, but he's going to guide you to it.
[00:21:04] And when I look back now and I look at all those people that I worked with, that's probably the greatest accolade I could ever ask for is seeing them blossom in to what became some of the greatest leaders that I ever knew in the RCMP. And they weren't always police officers.
[00:21:24] Jolie: [00:21:24] That's great. That's beautiful too. And so important all around. I mean you don't, when you influence people in that way, how did that impact on people? You really don't know your full impact is just rippling forward. So I think that's beautiful. And what about, because you've worked in so many different types of sectors in, in, in different ways.
[00:21:45] I'm curious, has your definition of success changed through the years? And if so, what is it now?
[00:21:52] Doug Lawrence: [00:21:52] I see it's it probably has changed. And I think that it's changed from the aspect of, I now focus. My success story is premised on value. And so when I sit down with a client today, one of the things that I tell them right upfront is that if I don't think I can bring value, I will not engage with your organization.
[00:22:19] So that's one thing. And the second is that if at any time, through the course of our time together in our engagement together, if either one of us feels that we're not, that I'm not bringing value, or I don't think I'm bringing value, we need to stop the engagement and have that conversation as to what's missing.
[00:22:39] And what do we need to do differently to make sure that the value is there going forward?
[00:22:45] Jolie: [00:22:45] I like that. And it's very true because we all are trying to bring that up. Even our different ways in our own special way. And really that is if you're bringing your value, you're bringing your worth and your winning that's great. Yeah. Now I want to back up really quick just because there's the niggle in my brain.
[00:23:05] brought up in the Arctic and I'm this note doesn't have to do much with success, but I'm just fascinated. What was it like living in the Arctic and how did you get through living in the harsh and harsh weather like that?
[00:23:17]Doug Lawrence: [00:23:17] Most like we if I, one of the places that we were there for two years, we're there by ourselves. I was the only police officer in the community and my closest backup. My closest backup was about 30 minutes by aircraft. It was about 500 people. It was about 480 Inuit and about 20 20 white people, which would be that our coast guard had.
[00:23:43] I think two or three guys teach you there was teachers there to teach school. There might've been. I'm trying to think. I can't remember. I think the Hudson Bay manager was was white as well, but we were hall beach was probably good. That's where we were, was hall beach in the Eastern Arctic or none of it now I think is what they call it.
[00:24:02] And we were there by ourselves. We had this beautiful house built on the shore right along the shore of the Arctic ocean. And it was just absolutely breathtaking. And, the Inuit people, they respected their police officer. And, we did lots of creative things to help make the community a safer place to be and stuff like that.
[00:24:25] We were truly blessed because the distance early warning, the radar sites right across North America were headquarters for those was right there on hall beach, not right in hall beach, but so we had. We were invited up there, we could take our kids up there and go for a coffee and stuff to give them a breakaway.
[00:24:46] So they, they were very good to us and treated us really nicely. There were times when I know, the temperatures were quite cold. Like I can remember a couple of times where we nipped down to about six minus 68 Celsius. So it was chilly all day. We had a heated house and heated garage.
[00:25:06] So my police vehicle was always kept in the garage, kept warm and stuff. And it was good.
[00:25:11] Jolie: [00:25:11] A lot of things people don't normally get to see too.
[00:25:13] Doug Lawrence: [00:25:13] Yeah. My, my children, my daughter and son, they'd played with the, amongst themselves because there really wasn't too much going on until I think my daughter took kindergarten and grade one. In the local schools.
[00:25:26] So it was taught in an up to two, so they pre-taught her in English. And then the next day she was in the same classes as the the children who only understood Inuktitut. Some yeah, just, it was absolutely, it's a it's experiences that the kids remember even to this day, but a lot of kids don't get that opportunity to experience that.
[00:25:49] Jolie: [00:25:49] Now that's so unique. That is really unique. I love different kinds of experiences like that. They build so much. In our own selves that add to our best selves. So now I want to ask the ultimate mentor, this export mentor, what is the best advice that you can give someone who, especially someone who might be in midlife forties or fifties or sixties, and they're trying to figure out what's next in their life or what's the right next move is there, or even just that one little thing to move closer to success.
[00:26:21] What is your go-to advice to help people be better?
[00:26:25]Doug Lawrence: [00:26:25] It was one of the big things and obvious I'm slightly biased is to find a good mentor. Somebody that you can have those write it.
[00:26:36] Jolie: [00:26:36] Yeah.
[00:26:36]Doug Lawrence: [00:26:36] It's really, it's beneficial. Cause I've seen lots of people that are at that crossroads in their life and not quite sure where to go or how to get there.
[00:26:45] We've sat down and had some conversations. And as a result of that, they've felt more comfortable making those are challenging life decisions and they were able to move forward. As far as, what can you do as an individual? What I typically tell people is if you're at that crossroads, you need to, what are your options?
[00:27:08] You need to understand what your options are typically. What I get people to do is to just create a spreadsheet. And on there, you'll have pros and cons of decision, one pros and cons of decision to pros and cons of decision three. It's like same sort of approach. I take with people who are job hunting and they say, where should I take this job?
[00:27:28] Or should I stay where I am? I get them to go through and do that pros and cons exercise. So that at the end of the day, that the data jumps off the page at diamond, I go, Oh, I guess I should do that. And it helps. It makes it easier for them. So the same sort of approach when you're at that crossroads in your life is just as I call it, do the pros and cons matrix.
[00:27:51] And just let that tell a story to you. As long as you're listening, let it tell the story and you'll see where you could end up at. I actually, as you can tell, I'm really excited. Cause I've had a couple of today that have really been great. News stories. But I actually had somebody that was texting me pretty steady all morning, to be able to get me to tell them what they should do.
[00:28:18] And I kept pushing back because the last thing you want your mentor to do is to tell you what to do, then they become accountable for whatever the decision is and the outcome. And that's not who should be accountable. It's actually you.
[00:28:32] Jolie: [00:28:32] And that's a big part of it too. Figuring out what's inside of you because. So many of us just listen to, what's been, been being told because that's what we've always done. And so being jarred and being asked, what you really want sometimes is a little, it's a little scary. They can't figure out getting touch really.
[00:28:49]That's really good. Yeah. You have your own mentor. You mentioned.
[00:28:52] Doug Lawrence: [00:28:52] I actually, I've had two or three over the course of time school, one. Kevin. He has stuck with me through sicker through thin, and I can always, I can just shoot him a message and say, I need to talk. And he's been, he's always there for me. And it was right from gosh, 2010, I guess I had what I had done when I was starting.
[00:29:16] My business was I formed a a mentoring panel or advisory body. And I loaded it with people from all the different aspects. So I had somebody who had financial exp experience, somebody who was great on the business front end piece. I had somebody who, had some legal expertise that could provide advice and guidance.
[00:29:41]On that particular part, I had somebody who was a leader, but also was involved in the information technology space. So cause one of the things back then we had looked about was. Creating online training, but it was going to be online training that was using artificial intelligence as a to, so anyhow, the finances got in the way because to get something like that, back then off the ground was millions and millions of dollars and yeah, the world wasn't quite ready for Doug's idea of artificial intelligence and mattering. Yeah. I was, apparently I was I had it myself.
[00:30:21] Jolie: [00:30:21] Yeah ahead of your time. It happens. That's pretty interesting though. And it will just show us, the power of a mentor for your own self and what that's helped you go through. Or do you have any habits that you've adopted throughout the years that help you stay successful?
[00:30:37]Doug Lawrence: [00:30:37] The, one of the big things that has helped me be successful is relationships and. Having those relationships. So people that I can bounce ideas off people that I can go to and ask questions, and if it's sows and their trusted relationships. So they're in my inner circle for best way to describe it is there are people that I've led in to be able to S I share, some very private stuff that I'm hoping that everybody will hold in confidence.
[00:31:08] And that's why they're in the inner circle. So for me, it would be. The aspect of trusted relationships and the other part that I think that, for me, that's been really beneficial is that I try to stay positive. I focus on the positive as much as I possibly can. And so instead of me, failure, for example, the word fail is actually first attempt in learning.
[00:31:32]So rather than being so focused on well, GI failed, no you've now created yourself a learning opportunity and you need to take advantage of it. So it's, I think it's coming at it from more so from the positive aspect versus, always looking or searching for why what's wrong and why did this happen this way?
[00:31:51] Why, it shouldn't happen that way, but it's got to, it must have happened because it's me. And I think that those would be the main things that sort of jumped out when you asked that question.
[00:32:03] Jolie: [00:32:03] Yeah. So focusing on the positive is really big as well. The relationships are huge. Those are a must absolute must and informing those, having those people that you can rely on to help carry you. And focusing on the positive is really big because we bring what we focus on. Really. That's what our world is, what we focus on.
[00:32:20] And you can have a situation and you could focus on the negative and have it. You completely worse or you can try and focus on the positive and make it so much better and move forward. And it does make all the differences. Again, it's another training really have to work on. Yeah.
[00:32:36] So that's great. I'm curious, do you have any, do you have any big regrets?
[00:32:42]Doug Lawrence: [00:32:42] I, I think definitely the, my first attempt at learning with the folks in Minneapolis was definitely a, that was an expensive lesson that that I had to learn. And it happened early enough that that we were able to make sure it didn't happen again. That would be, and I'd say, I think that if I could change one thing might be two, but one for sure. If I could change one thing, it would be that the time and obviously some money that I invested in the certification of mentors based on knowledge, if I could take that time back and reinvest the time and the money and the confidence one, I think that we would be having a different conversation today than what we are, because I firmly believe that the mentoring community and organizations that are out there are ready for mentoring certification and for having employees within their organization
[00:33:51] certified as competent mentors. I think there, we have organizations that are ready for that. So that would be one thing that if I could take that all back and like a handful of clay, if I could shape and mold that into something a little bit better, that I think that would definitely change the landscape.
[00:34:16] As we know it today.
[00:34:18] Jolie: [00:34:18] Interesting. Hopefully this through this talk, people are much more interested in finding a mentor if they don't have one. How would you suggest someone go about finding a mentor if they don't have one.
[00:34:28]Doug Lawrence: [00:34:28] They can certainly they could reach out to me and I can certainly help guide them where they may find if you there's a number of different websites, I get asked that question a lot. Typically my response is what industry are you looking at? So say for example, your, honor, UN just a newly minted accountant, starting out, working in the financial sector.
[00:34:52] A lot of those places actually have, for a lot of those organizations actually have mentoring programs and they have mentors that, they can do. I'm I sit on a board for IT professionals here in Saskatchewan. And one of the things I did probably four years ago now, I guess it would be was we implemented a mentoring program for IT professionals.
[00:35:17] And so we have mentors and mentees as part of the program. And I provided them with it's a one hour webinar. That gives them the basically gives them the tools and some tips and techniques and stuffs that they would need in order to be able to effectively mentor somebody else. And so they've got access to all of that.
[00:35:39]Somebody who's in the it sector that information technology sector can actually go to, the Saskatchewan branch here. And they would be able to find themselves or get matched with a mentor. And there's others , I did some training and stuff three noon, hour lunch and learn webinars for registered nurses.
[00:35:58]There's, there's another example. I had the list, what would go on and in each one of those cases, you'll be able to find the mentor that you're looking for as part of that group. And if you're the individual who doesn't belong to say any of those particular sectors, If you do a little bit of searching on the internet, you'll be able to find that there are some different places you can go to be able to get, to get a mentor.
[00:36:24] And like I said, if push comes to shove and you still aren't successful, then reach out to me and I'll do what I can to help you find something.
[00:36:32] Jolie: [00:36:32] That's great. I didn't realize it was those types of things existed, so that's wonderful. And I'll make sure and have your website and any other links that people might be interested in. We'll have those in the show notes as well. Thank you so much.
[00:36:45] Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it, Doug. I loved her talk.
[00:36:49]Doug Lawrence: [00:36:49] Thank you for the opportunity.
There’s a lot that can be learned from Doug’s story. At first listen, I received a personal lesson about an issue with my microphone and then learned how to circumvent that problem in the future. I was unable to fix what had already been recorded but now you get to hear what a big difference it is when my microphone works and when it doesn’t. Thank you for sticking with me.
Doug had a long successful career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He enjoyed his work, he thrived in his role but he did not stay complacent. He paid attention to the various changes happening and evaluated his situation. He asked himself the right questions. If he stayed, would he be marketable? If he stayed, would he be able to continue doing what he wanted to do? He took a good look at his situation and made decisions that would be best for him the long term.
This is really important. So many people get complacent and when an unexpected shift happens, they find themselves in a difficult position unsure of their next step. Doug made sure he was focusing in on his long term career options and looking at possibilities in a variety of ways, because of that, he made a career shift of his own volition
You can help circumvent the complacency that happens by keeping four key things in mind
First - Keep a consistent eye open on the shifting landscapes of your industry and role
Second – take time to check in with yourself on a regular basis - make sure what you are doing continues to be aligned with your personal goals and stay aware,
Third - look out for potential pivot points that might help you either now or in the future and
Fourth - stay consistently networking and expanding your connections. Develop those strong relationships with people – as Doug said, many of his relationships helped him on his road to success.
Another great learning point from Doug’s story, when he set out to find something that addressed mentoring and then he couldn’t find it, he didn’t just shrug his shoulders and think, oh well. No. He went out and CREATED that thing that he couldn’t find for himself. This is a true marker for success.
Doug has now created four certifications and his company is the independent body of certification of mentors.
Find a need. Fill a need.
You can do this to.
Pay attention to what you are unable to find. When you find yourself wishing for a product, a service, a support group, a tribe – if you can’t find – develop it! This is how all the greats have come to be. So pay attention. Stay aware. And when you notice something missing, execute – you are worthy, you are enough - make the move and fill the void.
Doug shared the key his success is Perseverance. Isn’t this true? Persistence is a huge key to success. Let’s face it, you can’t learn anything well or get really good at any skill without continued perseverance. So many people give up at things when they try something new because they aren’t good at it – well of course you’re not good at it! Very few people are good at something when they first give it a try. Anyone can learn anything with continued persistence. Isn’t that exciting? The world is completely open to you in what you want to learn or achieve, you just have to have the fortitude to go after it and keep after it. The good news is, It’s completely up to you.
Doug also commented on the fact that often in his mentoring relationships someone’s body will tell a different story than their words. Their body language will tell Doug that they don’t believe in themselves. This is also important to note because your body language does have a huge impact on how you are perceived. If you are going into an interview, a date, a new business meeting, anything important – you want to convey confidence and self-assurance. Even if you aren’t feeling that way, remember to fake it until you make it. Research shows that if you ACT confident (even if you feel completely insecure) you will trick your brain into believing it and you will perform better at whatever it is you are doing. Before going into your meeting do a quick power pose – like Wonder Woman – legs spread, arms at your side, head up, chest out and hold it. It takes less than two minutes for changes to kick in inside your brain and affect your confidence. A power pose not only reflects power, it also creates power inside of you. Once you are ready to enter, keep your head up, shoulders back with good posture, make direct eye contact and smile. Smiling is incredibly powerful, even if you don’t feel like it, smile. It will change your mood, tricking your brain into feeling more positive and therefore more confident. It’s also proven that smiling makes people think you are smarter than you are. So win/win.
I also loved Doug’s suggestion of positive affirmations. This is incredibly powerful and not given nearly enough credence for what something so simple can accomplish. He suggests to his mentees that they put notes around their home – I am a good person, I deserve to be treated well, I am enough. Prominent self help and success guru’s all agree, these subliminal messages are powerful in helping you feel happier and more overall self confident. You can also adapt them for your goals – I am the new VP at ABC or I am the first place winner in XYZ and place then around your house where you can see them. I’ve seen how it has impacted my own life and those of countless others that I’ve put messages on my own kids mirrors. I too highly suggest you adopt this practice. It helps retrain your brain and light up that positive energy within you again. We are far too mean to ourselves, it’s time to start leaving yourself the nicest messages possible. You deserve to be treated well – both by others and especially by yourself.
Doug had great business advice; when trying to work with someone, make sure you’ve done as much research as possible and then immediately drill down to what the persons main needs are. What are their pain points? How are you going to be able to help them? If you don’t know right off the bat, ask them. Ask, what are your five most pressing needs? If you could magically have any problem fixed right now, what would it be? If we started working together and a year from now you thought this was the best decision you had ever made, what would I have done to make you feel that way? If I were your business partner, what would be the top five things you’d want me to deal with? Once you find out the answers, you’ll know exactly how you can help them moving forward. And if you’re not the best person for the job, if you can’t bring that value that is needed, refer them to the best person. The universal law I’ve found, the common thread amongst all these stories, is that once you focus on helping others, you end up helping yourself. So do yourself a favor and be the most upstanding, honest business person you can be. You’ll find yourself with a roster of loyal clients and employees.
I appreciated Doug’s advice around making decisions. As he wisely pointed out, having a mentor doesn’t mean you have someone making your decisiosn for you. You need to be accountable for your own decisions. You have to get in touch with your own reality and find the answers inside. If you are at a crossroads and having difficult deciding which direction, sit down and look at your options. What are all of your options. Write them out. Think them through. Understand them. Then create a list with your pros and cons on each of the various decisions. The lists will tell a story if you listen. Once you finish, you’ll find the details will jump off the page. Either by the sheer number on one side or the other or because of one single thing that becomes a glaringly obvious deal breaker or deal maker that jumps out over all others. Either way, this will help you find your answer.
Finally, Doug urges us all to find a good mentor or become one for someone else. A good mentor is someone you can sit with, trust and talk through your professional goals. You can find mentors through organizations dedicated to certain industries, sometimes your employer has mentor programs, you can find them on LinkedIn or you can reach out to Doug and he’ll help you find one. According to Forbes, studies show that good mentoring can lead to greater career success including promotions, raises and increased opportunities. Mentoring also results in higher employee engagement and retention proving a higher level of overall happiness. Another win/win. So that is my wish for us all – to find those right mentor/mentee relationships that will help us each fulfill whatever is needed inside of us.
Until next time.