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Mentoring Case Study


Director Fulfils Leadership Aspirations

Moving Beyond Technical Excellence

It is common for scientists and engineers to spend many years developing their technical skills. As their careers progress they are often promoted to leadership roles.  Yet they are generally not given the opportunity to similarly invest in the skills needed for success in their newfound positions. This was true for a director operating in the environmental sector who recognised she needed additional external support to help her become the leader she desired.





Like a lot of people, I have experienced being on the receiving end of poor management, uninspiring leadership and badly-communicated decisions and knew only too well the damaging effect these can have on the productivity and morale of the whole team. I didn’t want to be that type of leader!





Climbing The Ladder

The client had identified that she was great at hitting tight deadlines, ambitious and driven but not as good at stepping back under pressure to take time to effectively communicate with or support her team. As her responsibilities and team grew, keeping track of team members was becoming ever more challenging.
When she was appointed to the senior management team and facilitated part of the due diligence process of a company merger, she found the same issues - in the opposite direction.  Communicating how the company and her team operated, ensuring the existing talent and value were preserved and nurtured, was a delicate balancing act. To compound this she was finding that, as the only female leader in the company, and on the Board, positive qualities considered as assertive and constructive in her male counterparts had very different descriptions when applied to her.

Meeting of Minds

Inspired by Elaine’s experience and profile, which resonated with her own, the client approached Elaine.







My instincts that Elaine would have plenty of relevant scenarios to draw upon and provide valuable support were immediately proven right. Elaine’s advice is practical, insightful and real.  She helped me see situations with a different viewpoint and improve how I communicated with my team and fellow directors. I immediately noticed positive reactions from colleagues. This helped me become more confident and benefitted my working relationships.







Role Model Anyone?

The client knew there were few female role models within the industry, with none at all, she believed, in her company. During our work she learnt that she was viewed as a role model by the younger females in the company who were pleased to see a woman on the Board. This revelation made her even more determined to make sure she communicated successfully and positively.

To Boardroom and...

During the mentorship, the client began setting up her own business. Drawing on Elaine’s experience of starting a business and the flexible nature of the service, the emphasis of Elaine's support was adapted to meet the client’s new requirements.











Working With Elaine

On a personal level, I’ve loved working with someone with an irreverent sense of humour and a ‘cut the crap’ attitude, as right from the start this set the tone for a totally honest rapport. This is essential when you’re exploring how to improve on areas of weakness and overcome problems. When that’s combined with someone who’s had the same education, similar career path and comparable experiences, that’s a very powerful source of support; it makes a real difference to how you can develop your skills and adapt your approaches. I feel very lucky to have benefitted from Elaine's mentorship; I have recommended her to others and will continue to do so.










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