A sponsor. That’s what Carla Harris calls someone who can help you get ahead at work. Even more than a mentor or an advocate. You need a sponsor.
Click on the link to listen to the Carla_Harris TedWomen 2018 Talk
Go on. I’ll wait.
So, … what’d you think? Carla is amazing. Yes! Well I agree.
In February, I celebrate 35 years of gainful employment with the same company. A boatload of different jobs within said company but the only place besides daycare and ice cream parlor that I ever worked. I had a sponsor before I even knew I needed one. And guess what?!?? I hit the lottery because I have been fortunate to have more than one.
I would not be anywhere near where I am today without the support of my sponsors. One has “retired” but I will never forget that she was my multiplier manager. She’d tell me to go forth and conquer and she’d always have my back. I was in charge of training under her watch. A special position that she created just for me.
The other is still working. I see him every once in a blue moon. I missed the good ole days on his team. I am a card carrying member of his former employees club. He is an individual contributor which I think is a shame because he was by far one of the best people managers who I have had the fortunate privilege to work. He cut me slack when I was scared and needed it but when push came to shove, he said “you are not turning down this opportunity”. Boom, I became a manager! And while my stint in management lasted only six years, I am better for the experience.
Back to Carla’s talk, I like the idea of building currency. Performance currency and relationship currency. I cornered the market on performance currency. I do not know how else to be. Just like the Energizer Bunny. To the point of stressing myself out. Deliver what you promise.
And while I do not have the power or seat that the round table that Carla mentions, I am struck by her saying “The way to grow your power, is to give it away” Even in small gestures, for all of us, just think how great that would be.