The Power of Perspective: The CCCA Mentoring Program

  • July 08, 2022
  • Brent Hodge

The Power of Perspective: The CCCA Mentoring Program

The CCCA offers one effective strategy – mentoring. Our Mentoring Program helps our members address complex problems and achieve excellence. 

Brent Hodge has been involved in the program for many years, as both mentee and mentor. We chat with him about his experience. 

If you are inspired and wish to take part, you can find out more about the program and register on the CCCA’s website. The program is free for regular member. 

Welcome, Brent. Please introduce yourself.

Brent: I am a 2012 Call to the Ontario Bar with an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a JD from Western Law School. I began my career as a student and associate at a full-service firm in London, Ontario. My practice included general litigation, insurance defence, and personal injury. After several years, I moved to a boutique personal injury firm, focusing on medical negligence. Then, several years later, I made the shift in-house, acting as Corporate Counsel to a group of hospitals. Finally, over the last several years, I have shifted industries and now act as General Counsel to a bank.

While something of a meandering path at first glance, each step in my career progression has added skills and experiences that have enabled me to make successive lateral jumps. I am now settled in my current role and enjoying my responsibilities and organic growth potential. The core of my practice focuses on corporate/commercial, securities and mergers & acquisitions.

Why did you enrol in the CCCA’s Mentoring Program?

Brent: Initially, I enrolled in the program to network with other corporate lawyers and gain insights from my more experienced colleagues as to how I might best advance my career. Over time, I have also taken on several mentees and see the program as an opportunity to help by sharing my experience with others.

What was your experience with the program?

Brent: I first went through the program as a mentee and have since had two mentees myself.

I found value in each and every mentor/mentee conversation. The program provides an open and safe forum to surface those questions and issues that may be challenging to address with colleagues or in day-to-day work. Whether as a mentor or mentee, I frequently come away from conversations with new ideas and a renewed drive to approach tasks from a different perspective.

What are your key takeaways?

Brent: My key learnings from the experience have been that every issue can be viewed from many different lenses and that, despite appearing daunting, there are few changes or challenges that have not already been encountered and successful overcome by others.

What is the best piece of advice you have gotten?

Brent: In my conversations with my mentor, she highlighted the importance of exploring alternative solutions and “staying in the grey” of the conversation before jumping to an answer.

As lawyers, we are trained to answers a problem with a solution, quickly and accurately; however, many of our colleagues need the comfort of examining several paths before reaching a place of comfort with the final decision. Often, staying in the grey for a while, before jumping to the black and white, can help with buy-in and acceptance.