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Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

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5

Distribute Your Risk

Let’s say you have a sponsor, someone who’s taken an interest in you, gone out on a limb for you, lobbied for your promotion, and provided you with air cover so that you can take risks and burnish both of your brands. If tomorrow this person left the company, could you survive and thrive?

Leadership churn is something Gabriella, a thirty-four-year-old cable television producer, knows something about. Two years ago, with her reputation soaring thanks to signing a big-name talent, Gabriella was handed a wonderful stretch role: producing a prime-time reality show. Her long-time sponsor, Toni, the twenty-year industry veteran who lobbied for this assignment, not only believed that Gabriella could lead the writing team, but ...

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