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Sir Richard Branson and Sir Freddie Laker
One of the UK’s most famous business mentoring relationships was between aviation entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Sir Freddie Laker. Laker paved the way for the current generation of airways with the first budget transatlantic flight in 1977, and his model proved to be the inspiration for the likes of Virgin Atlantic and Easyjet. Branson not only became friends with Laker; he also became his mentee – going to the older and more experienced businessman for guidance. In recognition of his debt of gratitude to his mentor, Branson’s airline famously named one of their own planes Spirit of Sir Freddie.

The Hollywood Techlings
Hollywood is known as a cutthroat industry at the best of times, but some of its most powerful individuals have developed mentoring relationships to help the continuous development of their art. Known by Empire magazine as the ‘Techlings’, this elite group of serial overachievers includes illustrious names such as Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron and George Lucas. The rapport between these directors and producers has created a mentoring and knowledge sharing base which has seen improvements in areas such as motion capture technology and 3D. While it’s unusual to think of Steven Spielberg becoming a work experience student, that’s exactly what happened on the set of Avatar when and Peter Jackson were invited to take a closer look at James Cameron’s movie making techniques. The result: Spielberg and Jackson were inspired to shoot their next movie Tintin in the same way, having learnt from Cameron’s successes and failures.

The Roux Dynasty
Mentoring plays a key role in the development of chefs in the catering industry. Two of the finest at giving support to new talent are Albert and Michel Roux. The French brothers opened Le Gavroche in London, the UK’s first ever three Michelin star restaurant and later began their own scheme to develop new culinary talent. Their list of protégées reads like a who’s who of cooking – Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing, Pierre Koffmann, Andrew Fairlie and, of course, their sons Alain and Michel Jr.

Bradley Wiggins and Shane Sutton
The 2012 Tour De France winner and 4-time Olympic gold medalist credits Shane Sutton more than anyone else for his success as a cyclist. As Wiggins’ coach, Sutton would be expected to have a big influence on the yellow jersey winner’s career, but it is the mentoring support the Australian trainer provides that has made the difference. Wiggins suggests that Sutton’s ability to ask the right questions and offer moral support and encouragement is just as important, if not more so, than the technical information he receives. Sutton, who was given an OBE in 2010, is always the person on the end of the phone when Wiggins needs to get something off his chest – something many successful mentors can relate to.

Posted on by natalieparker | Posted in Get Mentoring Monthly