Thursday, 14th December 2017
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Collaboration is key was the clear message at the launch of Waterford Chamber’s Regional Leaders Programme at Faithlegg House Hotel. Supported by Bausch + Lomb and Waterford Chamber Skillnet, the programme is designed to develop business leaders for the future through mentorship and skills sharing and is aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership skills or for companies who would like to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool to ensure the next generation of their company is in safe hands.

Addressing the mentors and participants at the launch, Waterford City & County Council CEO Michael Walsh, himself a mentor on the programme, said: "Life experience is ultimately what adds value to a programme like this. No one of us is the fountain of wisdom in any respect. What we have is a set of life experiences and cumulated knowledge built up over time. If you sum it up and combine the wisdom that is in this room between the whole set of mentors and mentees, and you turn that into a force, you have a very powerful thing. Collaboration is key and I look forward to working with you and learning from you throughout this process."

Offering personal advice to the mentees, Mark Hennessy, Site Lead at Bausch + Lomb, said: "Developing and growing future leaders is a key strategic initiative for Bausch + Lomb and one we are deeply passionate about. When looking to fill leadership roles, the preferred option is always to look internally first. What this programme is designed to do is put future leaders in the best possible position when a new role or opportunity presents itself. The one piece of advice I would give is to take personal responsible for your own development so you are ready for when the opportunity arises."

Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan told of his own experiences of having strong mentors throughout his career, starting with his late father, Alastair and Paddy McGuckian, and finally Dan Browne, founder of Dawn Meats.

"Having someone to turn to for advice, and take you down a peg or two at times, is essential to succeeding in business. A strong mentor will coach you and support you, but ultimately you must be responsible for your own development. The key is to surround yourself with people who can guide you along the way."

The programme runs monthly until July 2018 with the first mentoring session taking place in October. Each group will receive a new mentor every two months, ensuring that they are exposed to many different leadership styles drawn from a broad range of sectors.

There will also be five bi-monthly networking lunches. Each will involve an address from some of the country’s most well-known executives – someone from either the private or public sector. Jeff Turner, International Learning & Development Director with Facebook had been confirmed as the first speaker for November 30th, who will discuss the merits of effective teamwork.

There are a limited number of places still available on the programme and for further information, please contact Lynda Lawton at Waterford Chamber on 051 311130.

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