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Source: Harvard Business Review
Published: August 2019

The Sponsorship Spectrum

Circulated: May 18, 2020

Sponsorship is a kind of helping relationship in which senior, powerful people use their clout to talk up, advocate for, and place a more junior person in a key role. While a mentor is someone who has knowledge and will share it with you, a sponsor is a person who has power and will use it for you.

[Private Relationship]

1) Mentor: provide advice, support, or coaching

2) Strategizer: share insider information about advancing; strategize getting ahead

3) Connector: make introductions to influential people; talk them up with your peers

4) Opportunity giver: provide a high-visibility opportunity

5) Advocate: publicly advocate a promotion; fight for them in settings when they can’t fight for themself

[Public Relationship]

Bonus: As an individual, a good place to start is by taking stock of who you mentor and what kind of help you provide.

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