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Forget a Mentor – Find a Sponsor

The task of following a career pathway is more often than not very difficult, even more so should you be a woman or a person of a minority ethnic group. Who can you talk to, who can you trust to help you along your chosen pathway and how do you go about building those so important work relationships? These are just some of the many the questions which are addressed at great length by Hewlett in this fascinating look into how you climb the ladder of success without losing your self-respect and sense of self, somewhere along the way.

For all of you upwardly mobile people rush out and order or buy this book immediately – and I do mean immediately. Even if you are not in the corporate world but desire to become the leader of the pack, in whatever area you are in, go get a copy now.

The task of following a career pathway is more often than not very difficult, even more so should you be a woman or a person of a minority ethnic group. Who can you talk to, who can you trust to help you along your chosen pathway way and how do you go about building these so important work relationships? These are just some of the many the questions which are addressed at great length by Hewlett in this fascinating look into how you climb the ladder of success without losing your self-respect and sense of self, somewhere along the way.

Many of the case studies used in this handbook to fast tracking your career are succinct and salutary though all are written in a format easy to understand and relate too, no matter what your business or vocation.

As I read my way through the chapters it did occur to me that the guidelines laid out relate to so many other aspects of life; in that knowing the right people and relating to the right aspects of your vocation will get you to the top as well.

Focused mainly on the world of advancement to the magic CEO stratosphere, and also focusing on the salient points of being a woman in a corporate climate let alone being of a minority group, the main points to come through time after time are – have a mentor, they are great, they can listen, help and train you to reflect.  But better still set out to find a Sponsor in your Company that can guide, assist, train and recommend your abilities, but most of all, watch your back.

Hewlett stresses taking your time to find the right person, in the right place: take the time to talk with them. Should you be so lucky as to be singled out or accepted by such a person within your Company, make sure you stay in touch with them and share your journey. Always remember they have already been where you are and have helped you get to the next level which then makes it very necessary to share your journey. Your journey will reflect on them as well as how you are handling the new responsibilities. They have gone out on a limb for you and want to see you doing well. If you are not doing so well, they need to know to be able to help you move on through the issues that are holding you back.

Hewlett points out time after time finding a Sponsor, not just any Sponsor but the right Sponsor is is the single most important point in advancement , after your knowledge base and determination. Without a good Sponsor getting to the top is very, very difficult and challenging.

She also points out that as time goes on you may find you need a new Sponsor and over the years, as you change directions and levels, you will definitely have more than one Sponsor.

The final chapter is of great importance as it details building your own castle – setting your own goals and creating the pathways you choose to travel.

 Make sure you read this book from cover to cover as it will guide you towards making your dreams of climbing the corporate ladder, or for that matter any ladder towards success, a reality.

The style is delightful, easy to read and definitely not heavy going, which is remarkable considering the subject matter – a tribute to Sylvia Ann Hewlett and her years as a University Professor.

 

 

AuthorSylvia Ann Hewlett
PublisherHarvard Business Review Press
ISBN978—1-4221-8716-6
Websitehttp://www.newsouthbooks.com.au