Leaderly Quote: Everyone needs a few influential advocates.

Everyone needs a few influential advocates.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that with one sponsor’s advocacy, your career could find a new trajectory on which to catapult forward.

If there’s a brick wall standing between you and your next career breakthrough (or if you’d like to act preemptively to avoid slamming into future walls) having a sponsor can make a huge difference. You don’t need to face those obstacles alone.

What is a sponsor, exactly? I asked three leaders to define sponsorship, based on their own experience.

“A sponsor is someone who will use their internal political and social capital to move your career forward within an organization. Behind closed doors, they will argue your case.” — President and GM

“A sponsor is an influential spokesperson for what you are capable of doing.” — Director of Diversity and Inclusion

“A sponsor is a person with a seat at the decision-making table who will throw your name out for coveted assignments and promotion opportunities.” — Group Vice President .

A good sponsor is capable of spotting strengths you’re not aware of yet because they are underdeveloped. A sponsor sees how your strengths could add value in areas of the business you’ve not yet had exposure to. Due to their influence, sponsors can open more career doors than you ever thought possible. And they can see a vision for your career that is bigger than you could ever imagine.

Everyone needs a few influential advocates. Who are yours?

Jo Miller

Jo Miller is a globally renowned authority on women’s leadership. She’s dedicated two decades to helping women advance into positions of influence by leveraging their leadership strengths. Based on her work with hundreds of thousands of women, she developed a pragmatic and powerful roadmap that guides women to become the leaders they aspire to be. Jo shares this proven process in her book Woman of Influence: 9 Steps to Build Your Brand, Establish Your Legacy, and Thrive (McGraw Hill, 2019.)

Jo is CEO of leadership development, consulting and research firm Be Leaderly. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.com and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

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