Sponsor someone

Early in my career, I was assigned a mentor when I joined an organization. The company had a buddy system that was designed to help newcomers acclimate better and quicker inside the organization. It’s still a common practice for many companies but how can it be improved?

Mentoring and sponsoring are slightly different things. While both require a level of investment and a fair amount of advice and guidance, the main difference is that sponsoring someone centers on involvement in the other person’s success. I can mentor someone in a company and that can be enough but I can sponsor someone and go that extra mile. Sponsoring involves a level of commitment and investment beyond the day-to-day advice we might give a colleague.

Sponsoring means that I’ll take some ownership in their success. Notice I didn’t say ‘take some credit’ – having skin in the game to ensure that someone is successful in their work isn’t a free pass to insert myself in the accolades and rewards they receive. It’s a selfless, not selfish, endeavor because you understand that helping others succeed benefits everyone involved.


How can you go the extra mile this week in helping a colleague?

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