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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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The Sponsor Imperative

Who’s pulling for you? Who’s got your back? Who’s putting your hat in the ring?

Odds are, this person is not a mentor but a sponsor.

Now don’t get me wrong: mentors matter. You absolutely need them—they give valuable advice, build self-esteem, and provide an indispensable sounding board when you’re unsure about next steps. But they are not your ticket to the top.

If you’re interested in fast-tracking your career, in getting that next hot assignment or making more money, what you need is a sponsor. Sponsors give advice and guidance, but they also come through on much more important fronts. In particular they:

  • Believe in ...

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