Official Blog of Center10 Consulting

The Art and Science of Sponsorship

on Tuesday, November 6, 2012
First posted on 15 October 2012

I was at the Center of Talent Innovation's event on sponsorship, Sponsor Effect: Multicultural Talent, at the gorgeous Bank of America Offices at Bryant Park. As always, the data that the center pulled together was striking, including the rather dismal statistic that only 3.8% of Fortune 500 CEO roles are held by people of color.

The panel was impressive, since it was constituted of senior executives who actively sponsored talented colleagues in their organizations. They were candid about their experiences, including the fact that their path to becoming sponsors was paved by their own experience of being sponsored by someone at various points in their careers. As Andre Williams, President of Amex's global merchant services said, his ability to be candid in guiding his proteges comes from his memory of coming into a workforce and not having anyone to help him navigate issues that included what constituted the right dress code for "casual Fridays." Let's be honest, how many of us have stumbled on just such innocuous workplace mini-minefield.

I was interested by the onus placed on the protege to deliver great work - at 110%; actively work to expose the great work done to sponsors; court the right sponsors; and be mature and loyal. Hard work, but well worth it.

Read more about Sylvia Ann Hewlett's excellent research and thinking on the Sponsor effect here:


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