Senior business development manager Jim Brown, of William Tracey - one of the UK’s leading recycling and resource management companies - was approached by Business Mentoring Scotland executive Linda Perry at a Renfrewshire chamber business event in December 2011, with mentoring beginning with his mentor Fred Bogacki (shown right), a short time later.
Fred has a broad business background gained from many years in the technology sector, where he has held senior management roles spanning much of the key business functions, including sales, supply chain, product marketing and finance. More recently, Fred has been engaged in a business advisory role within the digital media sector.
Jim emphasises that his mentoring experience with Fred had an extremely positive fundamental and long lasting effect on him as a person, also resulting in immediate and direct improvements in how effectively he performed in his sales focused role. Jim feels it is too early to quantify the financial benefits to William Tracey of his time being mentored, but he identifies that relations with customers crucial to the business were enhanced after his time with Fred, as he implemented the communication skills and people management related developments they worked on. Jim has now moved on to further his career with another business in the industry, demonstrating that mentoring has not only resulted in the prospects for William Tracey’s long term revenue source improving - through bettering the company’s relationships with its biggest customers - but Jim, who now feels he is better equipped to perform more effectively in his career as business retention and development manager, can utilise these skills in his new position, benefiting his new employer:
Why did you join Business Mentoring Scotland?
“I knew the chamber staff well, Linda asked if I would be interested in being mentored, that she had a mentor in mind who would be a good match for me and the business.”
Did you have any specific business issues you wanted to address?
“No, I really just went into mentoring to give it a try and to see how it would go.”
How did the mentoring relationship work?
“Well, immediately we got on very well, as a person I liked Fred, it was an instant thing. We discussed various things as Fred had been all over the place, he’d done just about everything. Fred would send me things and say what do you think about that? He would always say “I won’t tell you what to do but I`ll tell you what I think if you give me your ideas”.”
What business issues were discussed?
“My role was focused on business retention, business growth and development. We identified aspects of time management, people management and conflict management where improvements could be made. Much of what we discussed was personnel related.”
What were the impacts of mentoring?
“It was almost like a revelation, it might sound strange but before mentoring I had no-one to bounce ideas off, it made me much more confident. I’d say it helped me improve internal relationships with key customers – it helped cement relationships.”
Did you receive any other forms of assistance?
“No, this was the only one - given the size of our firm, business support is not usually applicable.”
Would you recommend other businesses use Business Mentoring Scotland?
“I’d have no hesitation in recommending it. It changed me as a person, the way I went about things. It’s something that’s out there that maybe some businesses don’t know about.”