Ryan Green is Managing Director of Clayton Glass and volunteers his time as a mentor through the North East LEP’s Growth Through Mentoring programme, working with mentee Andrew Hewitson, Co-Founder of pre-press and packaging specialists Reproflex 3.
What was it about mentoring that attracted you to become a mentor?
I wanted to give something back and to help others with growing their business – in contrast to muddling through and learning by making mistakes, which is what I did! I also wanted to widen my own experience - learning never stops. Understanding where and how your experience can add value, whether it be through mentoring or Non Executive roles, really broadens your outlook and helps you to identify the right opportunities.
What does mentoring involve?
So far I’ve had a handful of sessions with Andrew, my mentee, both at my site, sharing my business journey, and at Andrew’s own site where I’ve learnt about his business. We’ve had a number of discussions focused on helping Andrew to answer his own questions – it’s about facilitating discussions that otherwise would get missed in the day-to-day running of the business. It gives him a chance to step back and take a look at what he is trying to achieve and the best way to go about it.
Mentees clearly benefit from the insight of a mentor but what have you, as a mentor, taken or learnt from the experience?
I’ve learnt a lot: to listen more and allow someone to develop their own solutions, rather than imposing my thoughts.
Is industry or sector specific knowledge important?
Absolutely not, it’s more about personality fit between mentor and mentee. My skills are transferable and aren’t industry-specific.
What would you say to fellow business leaders who are considering becoming a mentor?
Do it. The time consumed is a fraction of the benefit you’ll give the mentee and it’s more than likely that you’ll draw something from the process that you can apply to your own business.
Considering becoming a mentor or want to find someone who can help grow your business? Head over to our mentoring toolkit.