Paragon has had the pleasure of working with Dionne Westmoreland, who is one of DTE Energy’s emerging leader network leaders. The other day I had the chance to speak with Dionne. It is clear that she is passionately committed to contributing support to DTE Energy, building successful future leaders through mentoring. Dionne shared with me some tips for creating strong leaders, which include the following:
1) Management’s involvement
2) Strong mentoring team
3) Follow a plan with a feedback system
Having management’s cooperation is imperative for the successful implementation of a mentoring program. If the top people in a company are not supporting the plan it could deter others from following along as well. If the boss doesn’t put a spotlight on the program, there’s a good chance most of the employees won’t take time out of their day to learn about it.
Another way to employ a good program is to have a strong team of mentors who are able to set a good example for those being mentored. It is important to demonstrate the leadership skills you are trying to instill on the participants of the course. The mentors must be qualified and able to relay information well, in order for a successful program.
The final tip Dionne provided me with, was to establish a learning plan and stick to that set timeline. Deviating from the plan could have a negative effect on the outcome of the program. A plan is worthwhile because it saves time and resources in the long run. Mentoring future leaders takes many steps and cannot be achieved over night. A schedule is put in place so that those who participate will get the most value out of their time.
After speaking with Dionne, I have learned that it takes planning and thought in order to lead a group of next generation leaders. Mentoring is a valuable skill that can be used in all aspects of a company. Mentoring future leaders help companies to have continued success in their industry.
Written by Chelsea Johnston, Marketing Intern, Paragon Leadership International