Kay Baldock and Nick Moss on building a successful mentor/mentee relationship
KPMG NZ Financial Services Audit team’s dynamic duo, Kay Baldock and Nick Moss, show us how mentor/mentee relationships work
- Kay Baldock’s mentorship style is to share her own experiences but let Nick Moss make his own decisions.
- Nick Moss credits Kay Baldock's influence on what kind of leader he wants to become.
- Kay Baldock and Nick Moss believe that both benefit from their mentoring relationship by balancing each other out.
Kay Baldock CA and Nick Moss CA joined KPMG New Zealand almost 12 years ago. After both spending time overseas, Baldock is now Moss’s counselling partner and mentor, and Moss is Baldock’s mentee and “right-hand man” in running the Financial Services Audit team at KPMG NZ. They tell us how their relationship works.
How did you meet and start working together?
Kay: Nick and I joined KPMG at the same time. Nick as a graduate from uni, me as a senior manager fresh from KPMG Bermuda. After four years in the role, Nick headed off to work overseas. One day in November 2014 I got a call from Mongolia, where Nick was working. I convinced him to come back and join the team. I saw exciting opportunities for his career.
Nick: After four years working alongside Kay, I left, first to KPMG Dublin and then Mongolia. What brought me back was the people. Many of them, including Kay, are still with the firm since I was there in 2006. Now Kay and I work together regularly on client engagements.
How does your mentor/mentee relationship work?
Kay: At KPMG people are at the heart of everything we do. Everyone has a coach, performance manager or mentor. When Nick came back in 2015, we started our formal mentoring relationship. Every two weeks we go for a 30-minute ’walking meeting’ for development, coaching and feedback. As a mentor, you can share your own experiences but your mentee has to make his/her own decisions. Sometimes it‘s hard to watch. If it’s a client situation, I’d absolutely step in [if I needed to]. If it’s internal, I’d probably stand back and offer advice.
Nick: I get an enormous amount out of the mentoring relationship and our fortnightly meetings. She’s not shy to tell me what I’ve done well or could have done better. She knows that I am my own person but need to work out my way of doing things. Sometimes that means making mistakes.
Do you both benefit from this mentoring relationship?
Kay: Absolutely. I learn from the way Nick deals with things. He’s a great listener, and balances my natural tendency to push ahead.
Nick: I can spend more time thinking things through when really I should just do it. Kay gives me the courage and the signal to do that. She just tells me. There are no secret handshakes! As Kay did my role a number of years ago, she’s had that experience [and I can] check in when I need to.
Have you ever disagreed?
Kay: I can’t think of any times.
Nick: Sometimes we come at things from different angles but we haven’t disagreed.
"As a profession we’ve done a great job institutionalising mentoring. If you look at law or engineering, you don’t see that. My advice, it’s a no-brainer, just do it."
Do you share common interests outside of finance?
Kay: We’ve both lived and worked overseas. We’re both parents to young children and work-life balance is important. Nick runs ultra-marathons, and ran one across the Gobi desert. The furthest I run is to the shops.
Nick: The fact that Kay also has a young family is a brilliant part of the relationship. We have common objectives and needs outside of work. Flexibility is a big focus for us both.
What advice would you give to CAs who are considering being a mentor (Kay) and mentee (Nick)?
Kay: As a profession we’ve done a great job institutionalising mentoring. If you look at law or engineering, you don’t see that. My advice, it’s a no-brainer, just do it.
Nick: While I don’t think the mentee needs to be seeking change, it’s important that they commit real energy to the relationship, and to learning and growing. As a mentee I know I can trust Kay with questions at any time. She has an enormous influence on what sort of leader I want to be, bringing courage and empathy to what I do.Claire Scobie is an award-winning author, business storytelling consultant and journalist.