Mentors and sponsors play an important role in the life of a professional woman. They help encourage, promote focus and use their professional prowess to help put your name in front of new opportunities.
In fact, I recently created an online course to help professional women understand the value of mentors and sponsors that also provides guidance and instruction on how to manage the process.
And now there is a new book out that puts a different name to the concept of mentors and sponsors, entitled Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Terms.
In this book, the authors describe the three people women need to have in their corner. In the book review by Rachel Bowie on PureWow, she singles out a section of the book by power twins Antoinette and Tricia Clarke, that defines the people you want to have in your inner circle.
Succeeding in business is not a solo sport. You need to surround yourself with positive people who encourage you and help guide your successful journey.
The first? You need a guru. “This is someone who helps you see the horizon,” Tricia explains. “They see the potential in you before you see it in yourself.” This is the person who will push you to throw your hat in the ring for that in-house director position.
Next up, find yourself an ace. “This person has your back no matter what and is also someone who will call you out on your sh**,” says Antoinette. If your work hasn’t quite been up to par, they’ll be the first to let you know.
Finally, it’s important to have a work wife. “This is someone who you can roll with at the office and who you can lean on as you both rise up together,” Tricia adds. Having someone to support you (and laugh with you), will totally help get you through those rough days.
Their definition of a “guru” connects well with a mentor. You need someone who understands your industry and is in tune with the value you bring. They will help to focus your efforts, help to define your path and encourage you to take the steps necessary to put yourself out there.
While an “ace,” as they define it, is great to have – an ace in the hold, if you will – you also want someone who is connected with leaders in the business world. Not only will they encourage you and help set you straight, if you falter, they will also be the one who offers your name up to people of influence. “I think Becca Smith would be perfect for that new position you described. She has strong leadership skills, works well under pressure and has experience in x,y,z.” Now that is an ACE.
While I haven’t yet read the book, I look forward to the opportunity as I enjoy reading what other successful women have to say about helping women advance in their professional lives.
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JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
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