- On March 1, 2019
Whenever I meet a lawyer, I hear how they got to where they are. Superstars? They always have a great backer (sponsor), who advised them, championed for them, and smoothed the way. How do you get sponsors? I like this article from Fast Company. The main points:
- Identify who could be your sponsor. Carla Harris from Morgan Stanley suggests you ask yourself regularly, “Who is carrying my paper into the room?”
- Get sponsors by doing great work. From Tiffany Aliche, a financial educator and speaker: “People like to get on a moving train… People want to see that you, on your own, are progressing forward because people are busy. If you’re already moving forward, they know that if they help you that it’s not going to be a waste. There’s nothing worse than investing in a depreciating asset. You are a stock on the rise. If you can clearly illustrate that you’re a stock on a rise, you’re going to have folks that are going to jump in.”
- Be clear about your career aims. Kay Willis, the global chief people officer at Hogan Lovells, was working to create an in-house MBA program and didn’t think to include herself in that program until her sponsor suggested it. Because Kay had been clear on where her career was going, her sponsor could objectively give her advice on how to get there.
- Take time to develop the relationship. Kimberly Pinder, now a provost of a college in Massachusetts, credits her sponsor for helping her pursue the right opportunities. She noted sponsors enjoy helping people, but first you have make sure you “have formed and built a genuine connection and relationship. This kind of relationship takes thoughtful effort and time.”