Mentoring and Walking - Taking a Different Route


few weeks ago a client called me late on a Thursday asking to meet the

following morning to discuss a staff issue that was troubling him. Now part of

my routine is to try and do some walking in the lovely countryside in

Hertfordshire to clear my mind and I had set aside that morning to go walking.

I mentioned this and my client said “Well that’s alright come up here” (he

lives in a lovely part of East Herts) “…and we

can walk together”. So the following morning I arrived and we had a lovely walk

and very productive it was too. We walked for about an hour and a half

discussing his problem and then back to his place for a coffee and a further

hour and a half of discussion. By giving it plenty of space and time we were

able to resolve a number of issues that had been dragging on for him.


as I say I do like walking anyway to clear my own mind and one of the popular

routes I take from my house in North Hatfield is around Stanborough Lakes

in Welwyn Garden City. It is about a mile or so’s walk to the park and there is

a southern sailing lake with a road across the middle (and a tunnel by the

river to connect them) and a northern lake that has a rowing boats and some

islands plus lots of ducks and geese for the children to feed. I have got into

the habit of doing a figure of 8 walk around the two lakes and then back again

making a nice 4 mile walk, taking just over the hour (I am a fast walker!). Now

one fine Saturday morning I had more time and wanted to make it longer. I did

not feel like getting in the car and driving somewhere else and so I decided to

fill in the areas on the way and around the park to make it a longer. What a

revelation. I delved into nooks and crannies and areas not seen by me before.

It gave me fresh views and perspectives that I had not appreciated.


as always with my walks ideas for my mentoring practice and articles such as

this came rushing through.


we look at the walk and its route as a metaphor for a business, your business,

how often do you take the straight route and ignore the periphery. How often in

the morning do you walk straight into your office (an island on that lake for

instance) and ignore the people on the way. During the day do your staff and

others need to make a special effort to get see you on your exclusive island

home? Do you know all the people in the business; do you make an effort to get

round to them all every day?


if we were to see the Northern Lake as your company or organisation and the Southern Lake as your market? Is there a big barrier like

the road between the two? How close are you and your staff to the market? Do

you fully explore all the opportunities that lie there? Do you know exactly

what they are looking for?


take a different route round your business and your market today. You will be

surprised and amazed at the different perspective it gives you. So in

conclusion if you want a walk, either in the countryside or round your business

you know where to come!


Nicholas Fraser is seasoned Sales and Marketing professional who has worked with Multi Nationals including IBM as well as Medium and Small businesses. He has been an MD of a number of businesses and has been practising as a professionally supervised Business Mentor for the past 5 years.

He is currently splitting his time with running a new software startup Newera Controls - an exciting Energy Management and Control application and is in the process of raising Venture Capital to launc...

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