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The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust

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The Sponsor Effect

The Sponsor Effect

A complete guide to initiate and manage a partnership relationship.

Author(s): Sylvia Ann Hewlett

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Date of publication: 2019

Buy this book [amazon.com]


Numerous leaders acknowledge it: to reach their current position, they were able to rely on a “godparent” who advised, guided and supported them at key moments in their career. This sponsorship relationship is the subject of Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book. She characterizes it as a relation of trust between an experienced individual and a greener one, who will mutually support each other to further their respective careers. What distinguishes sponsorship from mentoring or coaching is the duration of the relationship and its reciprocity. If the “protégé-e” can indeed gain a lot from his/her “godparent” support, the latter has as much to gain from taking one or several “protégé-e-s” under his/her wing. Indeed, these allies guarantee him/her a loyal support to fight his/her battles and reach his/her objectives, and they also multiply his/her operational efficiency. Sponsorship is also an ideal way to train high potential individuals who share the same values and vision—reliable and high-performance successors or future seconds-in-command. But how to choose your “protégé-e”? And how to build a relationship that is mutually beneficial in the long run? 

Addressing these questions, The Sponsor Effect represents a complete guide to initiate such a relationship. It will interest both the leader who seeks to reinforce his/her influence or prepare his/her succession and the young manager wanting to open new career perspectives.