Don’t get me wrong, I have many people in my life who have had an incredible impact both in business and personally, but I hadn’t been proactive in finding a formal mentoring relationship or thinking about who I wanted by my side as I navigated my career until very recently.
I am sure, if we all stop to think, we could identify that we all already have one or two mentors in our lives – a parent, a best friend, a past boss, a colleague, a partner.  But what I have realised since becoming a mentor myself (for Exeter University, Femme Palette and TechStars Foundation) is that great mentors need to be weaved into the fabric of any career, and every business, at every level.
Great mentors see something in you and help you reach your potential.  They will give you direct advice, introductions, resources, strategies and thinking methodologies to ensure you have the tools you need to succeed.  They often will just listen.  The best mentors will become permanent fixtures in your life.
At RPD, in addition to our formal Career Development Programme, we offer the whole team a mentoring scheme, by which they are linked with a more Senior peer within the business to guide their careers at RPD.   The Senior/Exec team all have mentors from the wider business community, often from peer companies or the broader engineering sector.
The shape of that mentor relationship is free to be defined by the people in it within some shared guidelines, however, we encourage trust, authenticity, honesty and positivity. 
My hope in designing this programme is that every team member feels that they have someone to ask those ‘stupid’ questions to, someone who sees the bigger picture, and someone who makes their integration into the business and their career path with us, enriching and rewarding.  Conversely, I want the mentors themselves to be open minded to the fresh thinking and learnings their mentees can bring!
And as for my other business regrets, I’ll tell you over a beer…