Edrington CEO Scott McCroskie has been a business leader for more than two decades. But despite managing an international workforce of more than 3500 employees, for the past three years Scott has dedicated an hour of his working week to mentoring a young person in a Glasgow secondary school.
The MCR team visited Edrington’s stylish office in Merchant City, Glasgow to discuss why he thinks MCR mentoring is an ideal way for business professionals – at any stage in their career – to develop their skills.
Lighting a Spark
Scott first decided to get involved after his children left for university. He shares,
“I was looking for a way to give a little bit back to society. My own upbringing was very humble and I managed to progress well in my career. I was looking for an opportunity to advise a young person to make the best of themselves. And at that point I discovered MCR.
He was matched with a young person who’s home life was often disruptive.
“He sometimes finds it difficult to get the time and space to study and apply himself at home. But at the same time, he’s a bright boy and there’s potential in there. I’m quite keen to help him fulfill some of that potential that’s within.”
Over their time together, Scott’s young person has slowly started growing in confidence and seeing the opportunities around him. Scott tells us:
“My mentee has grown up. I met him for the first time in 3rd year and he’s now going into 5th year. He’s changed personally over that period of time significantly. He’s still unsure about what he wants to do, but he’s far more willing now to consider a wide range of options. At the start he had no idea what he was interested in doing. I think now, and hopefully, through our discussions, I’ve made him aware of more options, more possibilities.”
Developing yourself and your team through MCR Mentoring
Beyond the benefits mentoring brings to young people, Scott is a passionate believer that it’s also an incomparable way to develop your career. He tells us his top three reasons why every business professional, from new grads through CEOs, should become a mentor.
1. Mentoring pushes you out of your comfort zone
“It really forces you into an entirely different place from where you operate day to day.”
2. Mentoring hones your essential soft skills
“It really stretches your listening skills, your persuasiveness, your empathy, mentoring tests a lot of soft skills in a way that day to day work doesn’t.”
3. Mentoring makes you a better leader
“In business, you have a title, a rank and you can make things happen just by asking. In mentoring, you don’t have power as such. You just have the ability to listen, to discuss and to suggest. It’s a whole different set of skills that are called upon and I think those skills can be used very effectively in business.”
“I would absolutely encourage other organisations to support the programme. It’s making a difference to young people and to society as a whole. But more directly, I think people will notice that their workforce are better equipped for the demands of modern working life.
It really does reinforce these skills that are becoming more and more important. The benefits staff get from that time is way beyond anything they would do otherwise.”
Become a mentor
Thanks Scott for sharing your mentoring story! Can you support a young person to engage with their education and build a bright future? We’re working in schools across Scotland and we’re looking for more dedicated volunteers to get involved. Mentoring takes just one hour a week, but the impact lasts a lifetime. In addition to transforming education outcomes, mentoring is a fantastic way to build your skills and your career. Sign up today!