Best Practices Addresses Mentorship


GD Energy Products

More than 60 members from the Executive Leadership Program and Emerging Executives Committee discussed mentorship during a quarterly networking event last week. The small-group breakout sessions include facilitated dialogue that expands networking amongst the programs: Engaging Leadership, Strategic & Branded Executive and Advanced Business Development, which is sponsored by GD Energy Products.

Emerging Executives Committee Chair Chris Berrie, Global Industry Manager – Well Service Pumps, Caterpillar, led the sessions.

The Emerging Executives Committee designed the format to help attendees identify career development and leadership behaviors, and brainstorm ways to continue growing skills post-graduation, including opportunities to develop others.

Discussion included what is lacking in the space of mentoring, the challenges people are seeing, the value of mentoring and how to improve mentorship. Participants shared key takeaways at the end of the session.

One participant spoke to the value of putting structured mentoring programs into place in organizations.

“Mentorship is so important yet there are not a lot of structured programs, even in the larger companies, if you wanted to volunteer as a mentor and get matched up with somebody who needs one. There is a real struggle to find that. Structured programs can often be more productive than an informal mentor/mentee relationship.”

Program Participant.

Another participant discussed facing challenges as business increases in the sector.

“In our group discussion, we talked about how business is ramping back up and we’re all fighting fires — focusing on competing priorities. We discussed how to not lose sight of the business benefits that can come from mentorship and personal development.”

Program Participant

Participants also discussed accountability within a mentoring relationship and maintaining mentoring responsibilities.

“Effective mentorship requires transparency, structure and time. Both parties have to invest time. It can be difficult as things are starting to ramp back up and people are starting to travel more but if you commit to a mentoring relationship, both parties are responsible for the accountability of the relationship, and both need to prioritize accordingly.”

Program Participant

One of the requirements of the Executive Leadership Program is for each participant to identify or request a mentor to meet with three times during the year-long program. Many members of the Energy Workforce Board and Advisory Board serve as mentors for this program. Executive mentorship is one of the most valuable elements of the program because it provides participants with the opportunity to work with an experienced industry professional to identify career development and leadership behaviors and execute on a plan to advance professionally.

For more information about the Emerging Executives Committee or the Executive Leadership Program, contact Vice President, Programs & Events Peggy Helfert.


Peggy Helfert, Vice President Programs & Events, writes about the Energy Workforce’s sector-specific best practices and leadership. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.

Energy Workforce Newsletter

Subscribe to get the latest news from the energy technology and services sector.