A Conversation with 'Kola Akintayo
'Kola is Human Resources Manager- UK Region at Oceaneering
She holds an MSc in Human Resources Management from the Robert Gordon's University
A lover of sports and an advocate for the advancement of women in the world of work
'Kola sits on the board of many charitable organisations at home and abroad
She is married with 2 loving children
How have you benefitted from mentoring in your career?
I am a product of generous mentoring. Having starved for success at an early age, mentoring has placed me around people who are achieving success in their own lives; allowing me to watch & learn their habits and behaviours. This has shaped my perspective and steered me at critical points in my career and I have inevitably become like some of my mentors.
Why do you believe mentoring is important?
Obstacles, fear and barriers- including those self-imposed; are less challenging to overcome with mentoring. Relying on the expertise, sound judgement and experience of a mentor can often-times be the difference between growth and stagnation
Is mentoring important for inclusion?
Without a doubt. It is proven that inclusive organisations are more productive. Often times, exclusivity stems from cultural or wider organisational issues/gaps and mentoring can serve as a viable step in plugging these gaps. As leaders with all their life and career experience start to "pay it forward" through mentoring, individuals or groups who would otherwise feel isolated or unheard, are more likely to speak up and make meaningful contributions that promote collaboration, innovation and sustained performance.
How would you suggest someone finds themselves a suitable mentor?
Plan purposefully and be choosy :) at the very least, you should want to be like your mentor. Additionally, if you are strongly passionate about a subject or arena, a good choice of mentor could be someone who is already headed in direction; you can align your vision to theirs!
What advice would you give to a mentee starting out in mentoring relationship?
Avoid a transactional approach, it is not just about what mentoring can give you but building long-term connections and common ground
Same question, but for a mentor this time!
Practice "active listening"- you don't always have all the answers.
Any final words of wisdom?
The derail-er of tomorrow's success is today's success- keep growing (even in small doses).