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How Do You Advocate for Someone Else?
Be a sponsor to others.
“In the leadership space right now, we are hearing extensively about the concept of sponsorship,” says Ritu. “A sponsor is an advocate, a senior person who does three things for their protégé, or for their junior person: They go out on a limb for their person, they advocate for their person's promotion, and the third thing they do is they provide air cover when the person makes a mistake.”
Watch the video to hear Ritu explain how sponsors must champion and advocate for others.
- Give appropriate cover to people as they learn and make mistakes.
- Give honest feedback to people you sponsor.
- Paint a picture for people of their potential and possible future.
A sponsor is an advocate, a senior person who does three things for their protégé, or for their junior person: They go out on a limb for their person, they advocate for their person's promotion, and the third thing they do is they provide air cover when the person makes a mistake.
If you want to be a champion, an advocate for someone who you are working with or someone you are supporting, the best things that you can do include making sure that you're opening up doors, opportunities for that person, that they wouldn't otherwise have access to. It's really important that you use your brand, your credibility to help that person their profile and access relationship building that they wouldn't be able to. It's important that you provide them with air cover when they make a mistake in their performance. It's critical that you provide them with honest, critical feedback so that they know what are the areas in which they need improvement. It's really important that you push their perception of what they are capable of doing, because for so many people who want to be growing and developing their career, oftentimes the person will hold self-limiting beliefs about what they are capable of doing.
But as an advocate, as a sponsor you have the power to show them, "Actually, you are more amazing than you are even imagining right now." So, it takes actual practical, concrete steps as a senior leader to help propel someone's career. But, you can do it.
Ritu didn’t always feel empowered to be an unapologetic, fiercely authentic leader. While she was highly successful and living the corporate dream in her early career, she realized the person she was in her daily life bore little rese...
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