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Neil 47, a partner in a law firm, had itchy feet. Where should he focus his next few years? A successful career behind him, he found that he was now spending more time advising and mentoring people in his organisation.

Although he liked his organisation, he found that there was a lot of cynicism regarding support for younger members. He was concerned about what that meant for the future leadership of the organisation and was also not clear about what he really wanted in his own career.

Here is what happened.

The first thing we did was to identify a compelling vision for Neil's future, and then quickly put together a road map for his next few years. It emerged that he could benefit from training up with a people development qualification that would give him CIPD recognition. We also worked out different scenarios for him to apply his mentoring skill more formally.

His clear ability to make things happen meant that he had consistently contributed to graduate training programmes as a guest speaker. He approached his peers and got support to putting together a formal mentoring programme for younger graduates as an aside to their core training. This systemic solution enabled the fledgling lawyers to have access to mentors beyond his core area of expertise and lay the foundations for future leadership.

We found out that his desire to pass on knowledge was so strong that we explored the possiblity that this could happen in his wider community. He persuaded his peers to engage with the local community and a pilot corporate volunteering programme followed, with a clear mission: to fulfil the company value of community so as to experience this in a broader sense than just within the contours of the organisation. It was challenging for Neil to sell this vision beyond the pilot group but he has managed to do so. There is still much cynicism but this is just the kind of challenge he wants. Progress is being made and Neil is the driver of that.

Neil, 47 Partner, Law firm