Mark Lollback’s new mentoring venture: Connecting senior execs with the likes of Steedman and Ronson

Global Mentorship - Mark Lollback

“We’re putting the mentee in control … This is not like some of these masterclasses where you pay a lot of money, but you’re one of the 1,000 people or one of the 400 people on bloody Zoom calls.”

Mark Lollback has set up a mentoring company with global ambitions, connecting senior mentees to a pool of mentors populated by industry leaders like John Steedman and Lisa Ronson.

This week, the former GroupM CEO and CMO of McDonald’s launched Global Mentorship, aimed at executives who want to improve their career growth and impact on the job. The programs will cost from $5,000 to $15,000. The ambition? Provide access to the “power of collective wisdom” and leave a lasting impact.

Lollback told Mediaweek: “Today, in most companies running mentoring, the mentor is the one in charge and has the power. Our twist is we’re putting the mentee in control. It’s their journey; they’re empowered, and they get to choose the mentors to help them on their personal and professional growth journey.

“This is not like some of these masterclasses where you pay a lot of money, but you’re one of the 1,000 people or one of the 400 people on bloody Zoom calls.”

He explained Global Mentorship is backed by research into effective mentoring and industry veterans who want to uplift and empower the next generation of leaders.

Global Mentorship

Among Global Mentorship’s mentors are former WPP AUNZ executive director and chief operating officer and GroupM chairman John Steedman, ex-SCA chief sales officer Brian Gallagher, former Coles CMO Lisa Ronson, former director of marketing for Google AUNZ Aisling Finch and Alisa Lollback, psychologist and former senior brand marketing manager at Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

The platform builds on traditional one-on-one mentoring by matching senior people who would benefit from mentoring sessions with talented and successful executives who want to pay it forward to the next generation.

Lollback noted the platform covers a wide range of industries, from marketing, media, finance, technology, and retail. The mentors also come from varying professional backgrounds and are based in different geographies, giving mentees a broad and diverse pool of potential mentors.

“Not something out of a textbook”: The program

Global Mentorship offers six different programs, each aimed at professionals at different points of their careers, from senior and mid-level executives to the C-Suite.

The flagship program, Senior Executive Personal Growth, offers mentees 8 to 12 sessions with multiple mentors, which gives them the opportunity to curate and design their own “board of directors”.

Lollback shared that a number of executives have reached out and expressed interest in curating their own mentee process and choosing their own mentors. The opportunity is also open to bosses looking to train their successors and companies that want to invest in their future leaders.

“Mentoring needs to be done by people outside your organisation, it is helping that person in a very trusted, confidential environment to help them make their own decisions that make better, creative, impactful decisions,” Lollback said.

“Our mentors are going to share real experiences of what they did and how they managed certain situations that delivered success in their career, not something out of a textbook.”

Global Mentorship will limit the number of mentees to 20 for its first quarter but will eventually scale up as the network grows, but not to a mass scale.

“I want to keep this a very high quality, and it’s a very personal one-on-one experience. A lot of people love the fact it’s still going to be one on one,” Lollback continued.

Pricing on the programs starts at $5,000 for the mid-level executive program and goes up to $15,000 for the flagship program with 12 sessions. Lollback noted that while some mentees may choose to pay for it themselves, the programs can also be accessed via the learning and development initiatives of their company.

From the boardroom to studying mentoring

As the founder of Global Mentoring, Lollback, who left his corporate post as CEO of GroupM in 2021, called the experience so far “a rollercoaster”.

He wanted to channel his passion for mentoring and leverage his three decades of global experience into a project that pays it forward for up-and-coming leaders.

“Mentoring is something I really believe in. I have been mentored, and I’ve also done lots of mentoring. I know it works, and I know it has an impact.

“The other day, somebody said to me, the first half of your career is about success and being successful. And the second part of your career is about doing something of significance. My reflection has been, I can do something significant and solve a problem that exists.”

“I’ve spent the last six months or more studying mentoring, and the paradigm that exists in mentoring, everything that they’re doing is what I don’t agree with. I believe there’s a better way.”

Scale ambitions

Looking ahead, the top priorities for Lollback and Global Mentoring are delivering a high-quality personal program to the mentees and companies that sign up, followed by building its awareness through word-of-mouth.

Lollback noted that another priority will be to scale the business in Australia and eventually overseas in the US and Europe.

“Five years from now, I want to look back and say we actually did something of significance, had an impact and changed something. This is a long-term gain for everybody,” he added.

Top image: Mark Lollback

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