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Guiding the Next Generation

Mentorship in the Asset Finance and Leasing Industry.

In the ever-evolving world of Asset Finance and Leasing, mentorship remains a cornerstone of success. As the industry continues to adapt to rapid technological advancements, it is crucial that we continue to coach and mentor young entrants. I have personally experienced the transformative power of mentorship, having joined the industry in a time when a tool as archaic as the HP12C calculator was part of the standard toolkit. It’s time for those of us with long and distinguished careers to give back to the younger generation, just as someone did for us once.

My journey into our industry began with a three-day training course, a rite of passage for newcomers. Little did I know that this course would include mastering the HP12C calculator, a device that is now a relic of the past. In today’s digital age, where sophisticated software and data analytics rule the day, the HP12C calculator is hardly seen, let alone used. Yet, the training served a valuable purpose – it instilled in me the fundamental principles of financial modelling and lease structuring, which remain relevant even as the tools evolve.

However, my true initiation into the industry came during my first customer meeting, a memorable experience that underscored the need for both technical knowledge and practical wisdom. My boss, a seasoned professional, issued a strict instruction before the meeting: “Listen and do not say a word.” Eager to learn, I obeyed diligently.

At the end of the meeting, my boss turned to me and inquired, “Do you think we’ll get the deal?” Without hesitation, I replied, “I doubt it.”

He quizzically asked, “Why do you say that?”

I candidly responded, “I think it might be because you called the customer Steve all through the meeting when his name was Paul.”

Perplexed, my boss inquired, “Why didn’t you say something?”

With unwavering honesty, I answered, “You told me not to speak.”

This anecdote serves as a potent reminder that mentorship isn’t solely about passing down knowledge; it’s also about cultivating common sense and practicality. While following instructions is crucial, it’s equally essential to recognize when discretion and interpersonal skills are needed to navigate real-world situations effectively.

This blend of technical expertise and interpersonal acumen forms the bedrock of mentorship in the Asset Finance and Leasing industry. It’s a delicate balance that seasoned professionals must impart to the next generation, fostering both hard and soft skills that are indispensable for success.

One organization that champions the cause of nurturing young talent in our industry is Invigors, a stalwart supporter of Leaseurope’s The Future Group from the beginnings of this programme in 2013. This initiative exemplifies the spirit of mentorship and innovation by providing a platform for emerging talents to connect, exchange ideas, and receive guidance from experienced professionals.

The Future Group’s emphasis on innovation is especially noteworthy. It encourages young professionals to think critically, challenge conventions, and generate fresh ideas that can shape the industry’s future. These ideas are not confined to the drawing board but are presented to industry leaders at Leaseurope’s Annual Convention, an event that promises to showcase the ingenuity of young talents.

As the Leaseurope Annual Convention approaches, it serves as a reminder of the incredible potential young professionals hold to drive innovation and progress in the Asset Finance and Leasing industry. By actively supporting initiatives like The Future Group, companies like Invigors demonstrate their commitment to nurturing industry growth and development.

In conclusion, mentorship remains the linchpin of success in our industry. As the tools and technologies evolve, the need for seasoned professionals to guide and mentor the next generation becomes even more critical. We must equip young entrants not only with technical knowledge but also with practical wisdom and people skills.

The story of my early days in the industry, where I followed instructions diligently but failed to apply common sense, underscores the importance of mentorship that transcends the boundaries of theory and practice. It’s time for those of us with long and distinguished careers to give back, to share our insights, and to help shape the future of our industry. Initiatives like The Future Group exemplify the spirit of mentorship and innovation, promising a bright future for the Asset Finance and Leasing industry.

Written by Graham Wren

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