During my 20+ years at Beyond Prudence there were several people who helped me think about my career, what I wanted to do, what I wanted to achieve, how to do it. For example, I recall that Peter O'Brien, David Jenkins, Peter Hill, Chris Wright, John Browne, Rodney Chase, David Pritchard were all very helpful to me as I progressed through technical leadership and into management roles (so I think of them as The Good). I also remember that as I got to slightly more senior business unit leadership roles, folk became less helpful (The Bad) and some were downright unhelpful (The Ugly), giving the impression that they saw ‘climbing the greasy pole' as some sort of competition or Darwinian exercise. More than two or three of those in the last two categories are still active, still working, and I have not named them as I don't need corporate lawyers sending me e-mails!
But I guess if you recall the company from around the turn of the Millennium, you (and they) know who I mean!
I am talking here of coaching rather than mentoring, in my mind the latter being getting help from somebody who has faced a similar problem to the one you are facing.
Despite what I said to begin with about individuals who helped me in the early and middle parts of my career at BP, nowadays I doubt that anybody should rely on the company that employs them to be the source of objective career advice or rely on them to manage your career for you, indeed for anything other than the company's benefit.
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