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: