LN Mentoring Focus: Meet the Mentor

The LN Mentoring programme can be one of the most rewarding aspects of being an LN Member.

But who would be your mentor I hear you ask, well that is determined by the Directors of Mentoring. They would look at what you need and the skills of the available Mentors and then come up with a potential match.

The matching process doesn’t finish there though, once we have provisionally matched you, we would then set up a Zoom call so you and your potential Mentor can meet. This is so you can get to know each other because you may be perfect on paper together but decide that you wouldn’t get what you needed from the proposed Mentor.

If that happens, we will then find another match for you.

Because the main goal of the Mentoring programme is that YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED.

With this in mind, we are going to be featuring some of our amazing Mentors, first into the hot seat is Chris Horseman.

What has your career been like?

I started work in the computer games field and was headhunted by Atari when I was 24 as VP of software development for the home computer division then became VP of advanced games development which was interesting as it crossed over from computers to consoles and coin-op games. On coming back to the UK, I started a business producing games, but this morphed into creation of Interactive museum exhibits and interactive training.

I sold this business to McGraw-Hill in 1998 and a year later was asked to become president of their Lifetime Learning division. In 2002 I started another business and raised venture capital. This ran into financial difficulties (no more VC available) during the financial crisis of 2008 and had to be closed.

I then did over a year of business consulting before starting Engage in Learning which I sold to Kallidus at the end of February 2020. Since then, I’ve been semi-retired and have spent my time on personal projects (usually sailing or VR related) and consulting to businesses in the training industry. I divide my time between France and the UK and am currently learning French.

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

I enjoy the challenge of business consulting and the chance to pass on my experience, I’ve been very fortunate in my career in this industry, and I was looking for a way to give something back and help others, particularly young business founders. I was once a young business founder myself and I found good mentors which helped me enormously.

What do you get from mentoring?

When I had a business failure in 2008, I blamed myself and wasn’t sure what to do next. Fortunately, I was approached by a number of people I knew for advice and to help with specific projects, it was seeing this advice work out well for them that helped rebuild my own confidence and allowed me to consider starting another business. I have always tried to help other people in business and have had a lot of positive feedback for this and as a result have a lot of friends in the industry.

What advice would you give…

If you have never had a mentor before I’d say that you need to open up to them and be honest. Business founders have to maintain a positive outward face to employees, clients, and investors but with a mentor, you can open up about your problems and uncertainties. A mentor isn’t there to judge you, only to help but they can’t do this if your attitude is that you know everything and always do everything right. I’ve been in this situation myself and it is hard to admit weaknesses or mistakes.

Who would you love to mentor:

No specific person, I’d like to find creative and energetic people to mentor but I think the most important thing is that they need to want the help enough to commit to trying new or different approaches. The best thing for me is seeing things work out well as a result of mentoring.

Mentoring in three words:

  • Communication
  • Guidance
  • Support

We are always on the search for new Mentors, so if you feel you can help somebody or would like to give back to the network, you can find all the information you need on the LN website.

If you would like to have a Mentor or be mentored by Chris, you can find the Mentee form here.