Female Mentors: Shane Evans Leading the Next Gen to the C-Suite
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Female Mentors: Shane Evans Leading the Next Gen to the C-Suite

Female Mentors: Shane Evans Leading the Next Gen to the C-Suite

Name: Shane Evans

Title: Co-Founder and CEO

Company: Massage Heights

Years in Franchising: 20

Number of units: 117

Can you describe the role mentoring has played in your career? Mentoring has been a cornerstone in my career, providing so many valuable insights, guidance, and support, especially during the early stages of founding Massage Heights. Mentors have helped me navigate the complex landscape of entrepreneurship, offering both strategic advice and practical tips drawn from their own experiences.

Why is mentoring so important for female franchise leaders? This industry has its challenges, so mentoring is especially important as it can help bridge the gender gap in leadership roles. It also offers a platform for sharing unique challenges and solutions specific to women in the franchise industry, ultimately fostering an environment for growth, support, and empowerment.

What are the key elements of a good mentoring relationship? A strong mentoring relationship that has the grounds to be truly effective is built on trust, mutual respect, and open communication. It should be a two-way street where both the mentor and mentee are committed to learning and growth. Setting clear goals, seeking out regular feedback, and establishing a genuine connection are also essential.

What are the benefits of mentoring programs for female leaders looking to advance their careers? These types of programs offer a structured way for female leaders to gain insights, develop leadership skills, and build professional networks. They provide a safe space to discuss challenges, explore new opportunities, and receive honest feedback—all of which are vital for career development.

What should the mentoring process include? Goal setting, holding regular meetings, seeking actionable feedback, and forming a mechanism for tracking progress are all essentials that should be included in the mentoring process. It’s also important to include opportunities for real-world application of the advice and strategies discussed during your mentoring sessions.

How is a mentor different than a coach? Typically, a mentor offers guidance based on personal experience and expertise, often forming a long-term relationship that can evolve. On the other hand, a coach is more focused on achieving specific objectives in a shorter timeframe, often using more structure.

What role did mentoring play in your path to the C-suite? Mentorship was truly instrumental to my journey into a C-Suite role. It helped me develop crucial leadership skills and understand the nuances of managing a successful franchise. It provided me with a trusted sounding board for major decisions.

How has what you learned from a mentor helped you navigate difficult career challenges? The wisdom and advice I received from mentors were pivotal in helping me overcome obstacles. Their experiences provided me with different perspectives and strategies to approach challenges, which was invaluable in navigating the complexities of business management.

How did mentoring help you in other business relationships? Mentoring has helped me hone my communication and negotiation skills, which are essential in building strong business relationships. It also taught me the importance of empathy and understanding different viewpoints, which has been key in my interactions with partners and team members.

In what ways has mentoring helped you build confidence in your decision-making? Mentoring has provided me with a sounding board for my ideas and decisions, helping me to refine them and approach situations with greater confidence. Knowing that I had the support and input of experienced professionals gave me the assurance to trust my instincts and decisions.

In what ways has mentoring helped you set goals and achieve objectives? The mentors I’ve had over the years have helped me to clarify my vision, set realistic and achievable goals, and create actionable plans to reach them. Their guidance in prioritizing and focusing efforts has been crucial in achieving both short-term objectives and long-term ambitions.

What were the three most important things you learned from mentoring? 1) The value of resilience and adaptability in business; 2) the importance of building and nurturing professional relationships; and 3) the need for continuous learning and self-improvement to stay relevant and effective in leadership roles. 

How can mentoring help the next generation of women on their path to the C-suite? Mentoring can empower the next generation of women with the skills, confidence, and network they need to ascend to C-suite positions. It will provide them with role models, practical advice, and the support system necessary to overcome barriers and succeed in leadership roles.

What advice do you have for female executives considering mentoring? My advice is to remain open to both being a mentor and finding one. Embrace the opportunity to learn from others and to share your knowledge. Remember that mentoring is a two-way relationship that benefits both parties and contributes to a more inclusive and diverse leadership landscape. Do it sooner rather than later!

Published: April 7th, 2024

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