Why our Managing Director started Next Level Mentoring.

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Darren McFarlane runs a mentoring company that is helping other people get into mentoring. But why did he get into mentoring in the first place?

“There's so much learning and then you get that extra positive benefit of helping others. It's really a fantastic feeling.” - Darren McFarlane

This video explains how Darren fell into mentoring and how it helped him overcome negative thoughts and flourish.

The video also discusses why a mentor actually offers their time to help others.

The video is just over 5 minutes long - enjoy.

Please also click on the links to learn more about mentoring and the benefits of mentoring

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Full transcript of why I got into mentoring.

- Hi, my name's Darren McFarlane from Next Level Mentoring.

I've realised that I've never actually posted a video of why I've actually got into mentoring.

Why have I set up a mentoring company? Why do I love mentoring so much?

So that's what this video is.


Imposter Syndrome

So I want to take you back to my early 30s where I was a head of section in Perth for a company, it was a Norwegian company. As I said, I was head of section in Perth, and I was managing maybe 7 to 10 people at the time.

Now, my boss, the country manager, he was leaving, he was going to repatriate back to Norway, and as the incumbent, I was hoping to then step up and take that role.

Now, Perth was very strategically important for the company. There was a lot of big projects going on down there, so they said, "Look, this is very strategically important, we actually want to advertise to the greater company about this country manager role, it's not just yours."

So they advertised internally and got several applicants, and it came down to two applicants, myself and another.

Now, at the same time, the company was going through a very big merger with one of its competitors, and anybody who's been in a time when a company is going through a merger or an acquisition, there's a lot of flux, there's a lot of turmoil that happens with a merger.

And the company then made a decision and said, "Look, the other person is out of country so there's too much risk and turmoil to expatriate them into Australia. Therefore Darren, you've got the role."

And I was like, "Oh, that's great."

"Oh, but by the way, Darren, the other person was better, so just want to tell you that."

And I was like, "Oh, that's not great"

So on one hand, I am happy that I got the role, and in the other hand was a bit of a sucker punch where you're like, you know, but maybe I wasn't good enough for the role and it's just by luck that I got the role.

So that really led to a bit of imposter syndrome when taking this role. Am I capable of being a country manager?


First introduction to Mentoring

One of the benefits that came out of this was they said, "Look, as country manager, as a young country manager, you get to go on our global mentoring program."

I'd never heard of this mentoring program, it wasn't very well advertised. I was like, "Oh, what's this?"

And they said, "Well, look, here's a list of senior leaders who are offering their time as mentors. You select four, we'll all come together and you'll speed date with those four to see which one works best."

So I went to the first day of the mentoring program and I speed-dated with four of my selections. For the first three mentors, I told them about my problem and the imposter syndrome feeling and how I got there. We talked.

The fourth mentor (who actually did become my mentor), when I was telling him about this problem, he said, "Stop, Darren, just stop. I want you to say to me "**** it, I got the job"."

I said, "What?"

He said, "I want you to say that."

I said, "**** it, I got the job,"

"No, I want you to say it like you mean it. **** it, I got the job."

"**** it, I got the job."


"F*** it, I got the job."

"Exactly Darren! You got the job, so no more of this. They would not have given it to you if you weren't good enough. So you've got the job now, stop going on about this problem. My role will then be, in this year of mentoring, to build you up so you feel super confident about being in this country manager role."


My mentoring benefits

And that was it. I then went on this amazing journey, I got fantastic guidance, insights etc. It really helped grow my confidence as a person such that, almost instantaneously, I felt so much better in the role and I could grow with the role.

This is the point where my love of mentoring came from, from being a mentee for the first time with an amazing mentor.

The other part that always surprised me with mentoring was why are these mentors giving their time? You know, why was this person, a senior leader who must have loads of stuff on, why was he giving a little bit of his time per month to help me succeed?

In the future I also went through the same program again as a mentor I could fully understand why. The mentors get as much benefit as the mentees from this. The mentors also get to learn new skills, guidance, ways of thinking, ways of working etc. There's so much learning and then you also get that positive benefit of helping others. It's really a fantastic feeling.

Now with my mentoring meetings that I have presently, they're the things I look forward to the most in my working month. From my experiences I now know why the mentees love it and why the mentors love it.

That's where my love of mentoring came from and it's just grown and grown. Helping others and being helped is just fantastic!

That's why I made the decision to start my own mentoring company to hopefully have other people go through the joy that I've experienced time and time again.


Transcript from Darren McFarlane’s video on “how I got into mentoring” recorded on September 2021.

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