This is Ambits: meet our Business Mentors

This is Ambits: meet our Business Mentors

26 June 2020
Gerrit Sarens
Gerrit Sarens
  • Ambits as a community with 750 years of wisdom

  • In the first part of the meeting, we have taken the time to get to know each other. Each Business Mentor took the floor to present him/herself to the community based on two guiding questions: (1) what were the 3 most important moments in your career; and (2) what is the talent you are most proud of.

    It was nice to see that all Business Mentors share the same motivation to join Ambits: inspiring and helping other people based on their own personal experience, wisdom but also the scars of their own learning journey. Giving something back is an important driver to take up a Business Mentor role.

    Everyone shared some positive but also negative experiences in their career. A track record with highs and lows is the ideal backbone when becoming a Business Mentor. Some have specific Mentoring experience and have experienced the positive impact you can have as a Business Mentor.

    Some talents that our Business Mentors are most proud off and that are useful when being an Business Mentor: inspiring others; bringing people together and make it a successful team; motivating people; bringing people to a next level; taking a helicopter view and seeing the bigger picture,…

  • Ambits as a learning and development community

  • In the second part of the meeting, all Business Mentors could suggest topics and themes on which they would like to learn more. Ambits wants to be a community where Business Mentors can learn new things from each other and from inspiring speakers or trainers. In less than half an hour we had two full white boards with suggestions and ideas. The goal is to set up some first trainings and workshops in Q3 and Q4.

  • Ambits as an extended personal network

  • After the formal part of the meeting, it was time for food, drinks and some magic. During the informal networking, our Business Mentors were entertained by a magician who showed them some of his most spectacular tricks.

Struggles of a manager

Managers are

  • not or inadequately trained in this role


    • lack self-confidence
    • don’t know how to go from being a colleague to being a boss
    • need to loosen up on the command & control leadership style
    • must let go of the (technical) expert status
    • cannot give or accept constructive feedback
    • feel pressure to perform as manager
    • have difficulty building relationships
    • want to be liked by everyone or want to be the ‘bad boss’
    • play the hero
  • are struggling


    • stay too involved in operations
    • have trouble prioritizing
    • cannot delegate
    • fear conflict situations
    • disconnect from the team
    • deal with flawed strategic thinking
    • do not relate to higher management
    • lack clear communication skills
    • remain not self-aware
    • avoid difficult conversations
    • miss political antennas
    • ...
  • capable of more


    • need mental preparation as successor
    • need to be able to lead big changes ahead
    • need to learn to be emotionally resilient and in control
    • need to learn to make big decisions fast without all the information
    • must become persuasive presenters
    • need to learn how to cultivate their own personal brand
    • need to learn how to lead by example
    • manage by trust, not by fear
    • need to overly develop empathy
    • ...
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