A trip to Leapfrog Mountain

Leapfrog Mountain is the brainchild of Jackie Jenks. Over the years this business woman has accumulated a broad range of experience in enterprise support and mentor training. Now, she’s working with a pool of hand-picked specialist trainers located across the UK to offer a range of valuable mentoring and training services as an accredited IOEE Academy.

Jackie Jenks is someone who believes in the positive effects of enterprise mentoring in a big way, whichever side of the relationship you happen to be on. Asked to explain the passion that underpins new IOEE Academy Leapfrog Mountain, she says:

“Enterprise mentoring, and personal mentoring too, are really practical ways of gaining self-development and insight by either helping others or being helped. Everyone benefits. It’s a very positive and potentially life-changing experience.”

Before setting out on this new journey, Jackie spent almost three decades working for Lloyds Banking Group. Having started out on the bank’s trainee management scheme, she worked her way up to to become the organisation’s Senior Manager of Enterprise Mentoring – the ideal preparation for her current role running Leapfrog Mountain, as she explains:

“The foundations of my time at Lloyds were enterprise and training, which led onto my Enterprise Mentoring role, which I’ve been doing for the last six years. I started the bank’s enterprise mentoring programme, which recruited and trained over 550 bank staff as volunteer enterprise mentors ready to work externally with SMEs. Now, I’m bringing all of that insight and practical knowhow to Leapfrog Mountain.”

While operating in the corporate world, Jackie was simultaneously gaining experience externally in education and enterprise support roles. As well as helping out at her family’s manufacturing business, she shared the benefit of her experience through a senior teaching role at the Institute of Financial Services.

In her day-to-day Lloyds role, Jackie witnessed first-hand the impact quality mentoring can have on an individual or enterprise’s future. This, along with an enterprising spirit of her own and a passion for knowledge sharing, formed the impetus to set up Leapfrog Mountain. The academy is run from an online platform but its services can be delivered almost anywhere, meaning that Jackie and her skilled associates can work with local, national or international clients operating across any sector, traveling to deliver bespoke services that meet specific requirements. Jackie gives us an overview of her Academy’s services:

“In essence, we provide the support and guidance an organisation might need to set up or to enhance its mentoring programme. Plus, we deliver quality mentoring training at any stage of the journey. That could be for either personal mentoring or enterprise mentoring. I set up the largest programmes within a variety of corporate schemes and the model works in other settings too. I’ve been involved in establishing programmes in the third sector, membership organisations and various governmental bodies – the scope is wide.”

Leapfrog Mountain’s remit runs the full range of mentoring training, right up to training on how to become an effective champion for enterprise mentoring. The qualifications Leapfrog Mountain delivers, like the academy itself, are IOEE accredited. Modules of CPD (continual professional development) help new and existing mentors to develop their skills in all sorts of areas including business confidence, resilience and strategy planning. Those same modules are also appropriate for business leaders and entrepreneurs. Aside from the business world, Leapfrog Mountain also provides personal mentoring programmes and training designed to support individuals as they navigate their career paths. For Jackie, raising the overall national standard of mentoring offered is an important task:

“There are a lot of people out there who set themselves up as personal mentors without having any framework or protocols to work to. The benefit of quality standards and formal training is to ensure that they’re helping people in the right way for everyone’s long term benefit, which is where we come in.”

In order to become a recognised and respected authority in the world of mentoring and mentoring training, it was important for Leapfrog Mountain to achieve IOEE status, which affords the organisation a very specific gravitas. Jackie says:

“It’s vital that our training is recognised for being delivered at a professional standard, and that it’s got accreditation and quality assurance behind it. It tells the world that we meet national and international standards of training delivery. It also enables our learners to obtain qualifications that are Ofqual recognised.”

However, the vast experience and knowledge Jackie brings to Leapfrog Mountain’s work is the reason she’s been able to achieve that IOEE stamp of approval. Monder Ram OBE is Professor of Small Business at the University of Birmingham. He’s also the Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship and someone who has worked with Jackie in the past. Speaking of Jackie’s latest project, he said:

“Jackie is a consummate professional with a wealth of experience in supporting all kinds of businesses, from multinationals to local corner shops. She’s a leading expert on the role that mentoring can play in business transformation. Jackie has the rare skill of getting to the heart of complex issues and identifying practical ways of moving a company or an individual forward. She has the ability to add value to any enterprise.”

For Jackie, one of the best things about her work at Leapfrog Mountain is its universality; with the right starting point almost anyone can apply their professional and personal experiences to mentoring someone else. And, according to Jackie, there’s only one real prerequisite for success:

“I think that to be a good mentor you have to have an innate desire to help people on their own terms. You have to be able to leave your ego at the door. I believe that so long as you have that desire the other elements of becoming a great mentor can be developed through training. It’s about having the right attitude and good motivating reasons for becoming a mentor.”

To find out more about Jackie’s work, the new IOEE Academy, and to get in touch with her, go to www.leapfrogmountain.com