Leaderly Quote: Everyone needs a few influential advocates.

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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

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

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