Leadership Table Talk Series II - Mentorship

Written by HRCap, Inc.

Published April 28, 2022



“Before you are a leader, success is about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is about growing others.” -Jack Welch, ex-CEO of General Electric.

Jack Welch shares how the success of a leader is shown through development of people. As the workforce grows, leaders need to consider how to onboard, engage, develop, and coach them to succeed in their careers. Companies must invest in future leaders through the process of mentorship.


In a 2018 study conducted by Olivet Nazarene University, 76% of 3,000 American employees believe mentors are important, but only 37% of them had one. We believe that everyone can be successful, and it starts with having a good mentor. However, as the statistic shows, not everyone is given that opportunity because they do not have access to a mentor.


In our second "Leadership Table Talk," our Founder, President & CEO, Andrew Sungsoo Kim, shares his own experience of being mentored and actively mentoring throughout his career, and explains how he focuses on mentorship as one of his core leadership philosophies.



1. Who is one role model or mentor that has had an impact on how you conduct your business? Why?

Young Man Kim (Previous CEO & Vice Chairman of SK America) is my very own trusted mentor and our Executive Advisor for HRCap. Advisor Kim has incredibly sharp business acumen and deep understanding of the market economy; I have always been inspired by his ability to quickly predict trends and strategize according to the changing economy.


Whenever I faced business challenges throughout my entrepreneurial journey, Advisor Kim was the first one to know about it; he was always available to listen and provide input based on his own experiences and helped me think through solutions in a new profound way.


I have also been deeply inspired by the way Advisor Kim manages his business with integrity and lives his professional life with empathy and wisdom. He has a very strong eye for assessing, identifying, and developing people to live to their fullest potential. I have learned from him the value of serving as a bridge to connect with others and connect them to meaningful opportunities for collective growth. All those that he has managed, guided, and mentored are now leading experts in their respective fields and are serving as respected mentors giving back in their unique ways, myself included.



2. What are some important factors that go into a successful mentorship?


The most important factor is for the mentor to be credible – someone who allows mentees to be able to trust and confide so that they can openly share their challenges, and take feedback constructively. Similarly, the mentee should be transparent about their career challenges. This long-term professional (and personal) relationship must be built and grounded in mutual trust.


The mentor must also be respected so that the mentee seeks their expert advice. This is just as if the patient trust that the doctors can accurately assess their health and impart their expert knowledge on effective treatments. The mentor should also respect the mentee and be open to learning and widening their own perspectives from the mentees. They should listen and empathize with the mentee’s unique problems in such a dynamic and changing world today.



3. What are some ways you incorporate mentorship into your business?

I actively mentor our Client C-Suites and our executive candidates. As an Asian-American, once ex-pat turned startup leader, and HR leader, I offer up advice on their unique organizational issues, localization strategies, people management challenges, and business concerns.


I am mentoring my direct executive team as well as the larger organization as a business leader and seasoned recruiter myself. I am always challenging my executive team to take ownership and develop awareness and learning agility. I am doing my best to empower them to be strong leaders and mentors for their own teams.



4. How do plan on implementing mentorship for your company in the future?

HRCap is a learning organization, continuing to quickly adapt to transform then lead the market. I plan to better mentor our executive team in globalization efforts. We have scaled and transformed tremendously in just the past 2 years, so I am excited for our future. In addition to expanding our company, I wish to drive collective growth with our clients, candidates, and the greater community.


Personally, my goal is to serve as a trusted advisor and mentor, by simply listening, sharing my own story, and offering up actionable advice. This gives me the greatest joy in life, and I look forward to giving more of myself to those who have joined me in my journey, and to help others who are lost develop and find their own unique ways.


Conclusion


Mentorship should be emphasized in all organizations. Companies should better strategize how they can develop the current and upcoming generations of leaders, just as HRCap is creating opportunities to build and develop next-generation leaders that will influence and impact the future job market.


Sources: HRCap, Olivet Nazarene University, Forbes




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