Paying it Forward: Speed Mentoring in Southern Alberta

March 13, 2019

On January 15, 2019, the Southern Alberta Chapter hosted the 3rd annual Speed Mentoring event in collaboration with the Calgary Node of Emerging Health Leaders.  One of the most popular events in the calendar, Speed Mentoring brings together the wisdom from senior health leaders (mentors) and the ambition of aspiring leaders (mentees) for one-on-one conversations. This event increases in popularity each year and always has a wait list.

Modelled after health leaders coaches’ corner at the National Health Leadership Conference, mentees and mentors are paired for twenty minutes of one-on-one mentoring.  There are three rounds of mentoring in total.  Beyond the mentoring, there is plenty of time for connections, conversations and canapes.

This year 29 mentors shared their knowledge, advice and guidance with aspiring mentees.  Respected leaders were invited to participate and represented 17 different health-related organizations including Alberta Health Services (acute and community care), continuing care organizations, primary care networks, academia, health foundations, the Alberta Medical Association, not-for-profits and private companies (including consulting, health tech, food services and banking).  Although there is no expectation for mentors and mentees to be in touch after the event, many business cards were exchanged. 

Working with Emerging Health Leaders to promote the event, mentees register because they want to learn more about different sectors of the health industry, get career advice or establish a relationship with a mentor.

Event chair, Kara Patterson, says “The idea is to create a forum for senior health leaders to share the wisdom that they have built over their career with up-and-coming leaders, and in the future mentees become the mentors”.  After all, as the author John Maxwell said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”.

This event would not have been possible without the commitment of our health leaders, our organizing committee, our hosts at the Bethany Care Society (Riverview) and our event sponsor, the Bank of Montreal.