The Way To Grow Your Power Is To Give It Away

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.