The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 46

jobs, he took a job as a runner
and quickly learnt the control and
humility needed to prosper in the
industry. “If you’ve ever been on a
commercial shoot, you know you
have to be there at 5am. If you’re
a minute late, you’re fired. You
work 16-hour days, waking up in
the dark and coming home in the
dark. You get screamed at, told
to fetch this, buy that, hold this,
carry that – and no-one thanks
you, you just get your pay cheque.
I think the film industry knocked
the arrogance and the ill discipline
out of me, and set me up nicely
for mentoring others in sport.”
Robin sees a message in Hilton’s
personal story. “Following his
own experience, Hilton learnt the
value of true mentorship, of being
someone who could become an
invaluable cheerleader offering
unconditional care and support,”
he says. Whereas mentoring
is effectively part of a sports
agent’s job description, Robin
notes the similarity to the
unpaid mentoring he advocates,
and which is available through
the ODU mentoring programme.
“What sets apart a volunteer
adult mentor from parents,
teachers and possibly a coach
is that mentors are not involved
in disciplinary matters, and they
journey with a young person at
the pace of the latter,” he says.
In Hilton’s case, he has the
experience and empathy required
to do exactly that, and he and
his wife Kendra intentionally
run their business as a protective
family environment to encourage
players to air any personal
problems they may be having
that could interfere with their
on-field performances.
Hilton is, of course, paid
to do his job, of which good
mentorship is a critical aspect
with obviously effective results.
But it’s not hard to make the leap
from sport to other professions,
and he sees a strong link
between mentorship in sport and
mentorship in business. “There’s
a reason corporates want Rassie
Erasmus and other successful
coaches to talk to them about
strategy and systems – because
there’s a huge crossover between
sport and business,” he says. “Sport
is business. It’s professional.”
Likewise, Robin acknowledges
the connection, offering advice
that spans all professions: “One
of the great gifts a mentor can
bring to these relationships is to
be a role model who guides the
young person to lead a healthy
and balanced lifestyle.”
Entrench the buddy system at school. This first and most critical level
of mentoring establishes the practice early on. From there, there is a
natural progression to pairing new and old students at universities and
in the workplace in South Africa and around the word. (Bishops faces
challenges in implementing a successful buddy system; for instance,
due to the late finalisation of university places.)
Bring in parents – especially mothers – to join the mentor panel.
Activate the mentoring programme via the new ODU website, as soon
as the technology becomes available.
Create a vibrant OD Job Shop and internship programme, for both
mentors and mentees to take best advantage of the OD network – a
formalised platform to maximise the benefits of a Bishops education.
At school level, Robin Cox is
a vocal advocate of the vertical
tutoring system. This focuses on
a holistic education, guarantees
every student continuous
mentoring support through their
high-school life, and trains every
student to be a peer mentor with
leadership skills and practical
experience. A key to the success
of this system is the ongoing
collaboration and positive
interaction between teachers,
parents and students. Read
about his experience here:
Ultimately, Nicky is keen
to let the experiences of ODs
participating in the ODU
mentorship programme do the
talking, in particular how it has
assisted mentees to match their
competencies to their ambitions
and their personal value sets to
what and where they want to be.
The interaction between Peter
Arthur (1965W) and Michael
Foxcroft (2011W) illustrates the
effect of formalising the Bishops
network. Peter was able to offer
excellent career advice, and he
connected Michael with key
people at the World Intellectual
Property Organization in Geneva
in pursuit of his goal to find an
internship at the World Trade
Organization. International tax
specialist Jesse Wilensky (2014G)
explains how his mentorship
under Chris Newman (1972F)
has helped him navigate a tricky
life transition, and we learn from
Peter Smith (1972G) of the value
of “commitment pressure” in
helping to move a development
process forward. Peter’s mentee
Simon Roberts (2006K) is quick to
outline the benefits of developing

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