Networking, Mentors and Sponsors



This month’s Professional Development webinar was on the topic of Networking, Mentors and Sponsors.

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Get the webinar

If you missed it you can download the recording.

Members of my professional development program can download this webinar for free.

The most successful people have the most people helping them!

This is a very useful webinar to download if you want to:

  • Find a comfortable way to network even if you are an introvert
  • Grow a truly supportive network in a non-political way
  • Find and secure the right mentors
  • Develop true advocates for your career
  • Increase your ability to develop highly engaged sponsors of your work

Here is what we talked about:

Recognize the types of help that are available

Many people in their careers are never told that is help available, and they should seek it out.
Instead they get their job description and try to do their best on their own.

I didn’t know this at first in my career either.

When I first discovered that this was this thing called “a mentor” I was surprised. Now I can’t imagine my career without them.

When I first figured out that it was vitally important not to be the only one who cared about my work and career, but to make sure I had sponsors, that’s when I started getting real breakthroughs.

Do this for yourself

Don’t wait for your company or your manager to assign mentors and sponsors to you. And don’t wait to be asked to do it or given permission. Just do it.

In the webinar we talked about the different levels of Network:

  • Your General Network: People who make up your extra team of support in general
  • Mentors and Career Advocates/Sponsors: People who help you get smarter, and a few who truly sponsor you
  • Work Sponsors: People who have your back on big projects so that you are not the only one who cares

Avoid major career risk

If you don’t have people in each of these categories, you are missing a huge opportunity to learn, to be most effective in your work, and to advance — and you are also putting your career at risk unnecessarily.

I shared how to think about each of these types of people and networking efforts — and how to do it. I explained the difference between informal mentors, secret mentors, formal mentors and sponsors and outlined a very simple way to ask someone to be your mentor.

Authentic Networking

If you are not comfortable with the idea of networking in general, don’t worry, most people aren’t!

You can still build a very strong, positive network in a way that feels authentic, not shallow, not annoying — and that is do-able for introverts.

I referenced a prior webinar Authentic Networking, which explains in a very practical way how to accomplish this. I highly recommend it if you need some help getting started.

Help yourself

As we start the new year, it’s a great time to set your focus on adding another mentor to your life and assessing the level of sponsorship you need and have for your work.

This is a great webinar to get you thinking about your plan and your strategy to get a real boost in your success, your confidence and your satisfaction with work. Get help!

Get the Webinar…and More!

To learn the specific ideas and techniques that we talked about, download the webinar: Networking, Mentors and Sponsors, now.

Members: Download the webinar for free.
Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

There are some other really useful webinars in the Member Library related to this topic.

Members get these additional webinars for free:

So if you are not yet a member, you might as well join and get them all for free!

Join Now
Join Now.

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Let me be your mentor

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Members of the Azzarello Group program for Professional Development basically get me as their mentor.

Every month you get new insights and tools in the form of these webinars, as well as the chance to call into a monthly members-only coaching hour where you can get direct personal coaching from me.

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult problems with bosses, peers, employees, and other annoying people, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

Membership to Azzarello Group is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

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Join Now
Join Now

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Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on the Azzarello Group Facebook page.

Who else would like to see this?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.


About Patty
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Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Finding the Right Mentor



This month’s webinar was on the topic of Finding the Right Mentor

If you missed it, you can download the recording.

Finding the right mentor

The webinar:

This is a very useful webinar to download if you want to:

  • Want to access the advantages of having a mentor
  • Want to enjoy your job more and have more success
  • Make sure you have the support you need to be a high performer
  • Get (safe) help solving your hardest business problems
  • Build valuable connections in your network

This webinar on Finding the Right Mentor is a an important one to make sure you are doing everything you can to make your job and your life more doable and successful.

Members of Azzarello group can download this webinar for free.

JOIN BEFORE JANUARY 15: Get $30 off on Membership

If you are not a member, you can learn about membership or Join Now.

Use code: MENTOR30 at checkout to get $30 off your membership.

Join Now

Mentors and my own career

You’ve probably heard me say before, that I believe mentors are really important.

I can tell you that in my own career, mentors played a fundamental role in my success.

Here are just a few of the things mentors helped me with.

1. Getting promotions

Literally, I had a mentor once say to a hiring manager, “you need to interview Patty Azzarello for this job”. This opportunity would be a huge promotion for me, and a big step forward in my career.
I still had to win the interview of course, but I can tell you definitively that without a mentor:

  • I would not have known about the job in the first place
  • I would not have been able to get myself on the interview list
  • I would not have gotten this job without a mentor

2. Help when I’m scared

If you are advancing, you are scared. (Unless you are a psychopath.) Having mentors gave me a safe place to go when I was scared. They could help me see a path to solving big problems, and they helped me find ways of moving forward even though I was scared. Some of the biggest initiatives and transformations I drove were successful because my mentors helped me through the challenging parts, and helped me to focus on the right things.

3. Confidence

My mentors also helped me to build confidence by challenging me to go after bigger things than I imagined were possible for myself the time, convincing me I was ready, encouraging me to trust myself, and making me feel like they had my back.

4. Getting Smarter

In the webinar in addition to talking about how to get key, personal mentors, I also talked about how to create the right habits that let you learn from smart, “imaginary” mentors all the time. It’s always critical to expand your view and your knowledge.

How to get your mentors

The most important thing to realize here is that YOU need to do this — and it’s not part of your day job.

So you need to put in the extra investment of time and effort, to get different types of mentors that solve different needs in your career ranging from advice, to networking, to true sponsorship.

In this webinar I talked about how you target your mentoring needs based on your goals and how you can build a network of mentors to support you in your work and your career.

I encourage you, if you don’t have a mentor, to get one this year, and if you do have a mentor, get another one this year!

Members: Download the webinar for free.
Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

Let me be your mentor

I would love to mentor everyone that asks me. So I created my membership program to allow me to do just that!

This program helps members stay focused on their development, and on achieving their long term career goals.

It gives you reminders, confidence, focus and support – like a good mentor!

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult boss, peer, and people issues, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

JANUARY SPECIAL: Get $30 off
Use CODE: MENTOR30 at checkout

Membership is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.
And if you join before January 16, your membership will only cost $149!

Join Now

As a member, just around this topic of managing your performance and career development, you can also get additional webinars for free on:

So you might as well join and get them all for free!

Other Options:

Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)


ABOUT PATTY:

patty blog image
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download

The Imaginary Mentor


Imaginary Mentor
I have written in the past about the importance of mentors and the kind of mentors you need.

Later today I’m doing a webinar on Finding the Right Mentor. You can still register.

But for now, I want to address the concern that many people have which is that getting a mentor is a difficult and awkward thing to accomplish.

It doesn’t need to be awkward

Many people struggle to identify mentors, and then asking them to be a mentor seems like an awkward marriage proposal…. “Will you be my mentor?”.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Have many informal mentors

Start thinking of mentors simply as smart people that you learn from.

Make sure that you are always on the lookout for smart people that you can learn from, and then ask them, “Can I get some advice from you?”

.

That’s it.

Ask for a brief amount of time on a concrete topic and ask if you can get 10 minutes of their time. Most people won’t say no to this.

I can tell you that I did (still do, actually) this repeatedly with several smart people throughout my career.

These were people who I considered to be my mentors, but they never knew it!

Imaginary Mentors

I also had people in my career who really impressed me, but I barely interacted with them at all.

I would pay attention to them and learn about their leadership values, how they made choices, and how they handled difficult situations.

It’s amazing how much you can learn at a distance when you just choose to pay attention.

Then when I would get into a difficult spot, I would often ask myself, what would he/she do in this situation? Doing this always helped to bring a new perspective and a new idea.

Those were my true imaginary mentors!

Most people will be happy to give you some advice if you are generous in your request and don’t ask for a lot of time.

It’s important that you ask for help.

When I was in a corporate job, I never once said “no” if someone thoughtfully asked for my advice or asked me to be their mentor – and I can also tell you that very few people ever asked! So it’s worth asking.

It makes me a little sad now that I can’t always say yes when people ask me to be their mentor. Since many thousands of people read my blog — it’s just too many.

But it’s still important to me to be able to help people who ask, so I created my Azzarello Group Membership program to allow me to act as a mentor to a large group of people, and to help them with all the things mentors help with:

* Get promotions and raises
* Get help dealing with difficult employees, peers and bosses
* Become a better leader and manager of people
* To be more persuasive, have more influence, and be a better communicator
* Identify blind spots that might cause stalls and risks in their career

The program offers many resources and a live coaching hour conference call only for members, where you can get direct mentoring from me.

If you are interested in getting personal coaching from me via this program you can sign up here.
(And right now (in December) you can get a $30 discount if you use the code MENTOR30 at checkout.

Keep looking for smart people

But don’t forget to always be on the lookout for smart people.
Find them and learn from them.

And if you want to formalize the mentor relationship, that’s actually pretty easy too.
Here’s how to ask someone to be your mentor.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.

Was this useful?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download

5 kinds of help successful people get


5 kinds of helpImage: www.crowdsourcing.org

1. The Extra Team

Really successful people are successful because they get a lot of help, not because they are so good on their own that they don’t need help!

It’s important to think about how you work and learn. If you are not reaching out for extra knowlege and support, you will not achieve as much as those who do.

Successful people build their “extra team”.

What I mean by this is that they have people who are always at the ready to help them (people who don’t work for them) whenever they need it.

In my career, my extra team was made up mentors, advisors, peers, people in other parts of the organization, lots of people with creative and technical skills, and friends and family.

No matter what I needed to do, I could always count on someone if I needed help. Just knowing that in itself was always a comfort and a confidence boost.

If you want to learn a really simple way to ask someone to be your mentor, watch this 2 minute video.

Non-political networking

Of course to have an extra team, you need to put effort into building it, and you need to maintain it.

You build your extra team by networking with a broad array of people — before you need anything.

By putting value into your network, meeting people, showing them respect, being interested in them, offering assistance, you are putting capital in the bank with your extra team.

If you have been kind and generous to people along the way, they will be more than happy to help you when you ask.

Just think about the people who YOU are happy to help, vs. the ones that make you want to hide under your desk. Why are you happy to help some people? They probably are people you actually like, who have been thoughtful and generous with you.

Networking is never shallow, political, or pointless when you set your goal as being generous, kind, and useful to others.

BE the person who people want to help!

Resist the urge to work alone

As an introvert, my tendency is usually to work alone. If I get a task, I start working on it. I realized that this was a tendency I needed to fight against if I wanted to succeed in a bigger way.

You are always better off if you include other people.

The best approach is, when you get a task to do is:

  1. Resist the urge to start working on it by yourself, right away
  2. Think before you work. Take the time to clarify and get context. That way you will do the best, right work the first time, and you’ll greatly limit wasting time on unnecessary work
  3. Think about who can help you. Find experts. Find technicians
  4. Identify people who can give you inputs and feedback

You will find that when you let a few key people know what you are trying to accomplish, they will be inclined to help.

2. Increase your fund of knowledge

Your fund of knowlege is what you know on your own, and what you can learn by yourself.

Why not augment your fund of knowledge with the knowledge of others. Get smarter.

I often find that I do a better job at things I don’t know how to do because, since I can’t go it alone, I am forced to get help from experts!

It’s also really important not to overlook the chance to get inputs and feedback on your work from a broader audience. Don’t just rely on your manger for feedback. Get in front of the task and learn from a wider array of stakeholders by asking them for feedback on the relevance and quality of your work.

By doing this you are also developing your capabilities. You are doing a great service to your manager, the business, and your career.

3. Deliver Better

Here’s an example of using your extra team: The task is to prepare an executive presentation.

I have seen individuals with this task work alone, and I have seen others who are masters at building their extra team do it in a totally different (better) way.

The person with the extra team will have sales people providing customer testimonials. They will have someone on the web team mock up an interactive app that brings their proposal to life. They will have the graphic design department helping with their slides. They’ll get the finance team to run some numbers.

You just can’t compete with that, working on your own.

4. Increased visibility

It’s a little counter-intuitive, but aksing for help actually helps you build your credibility and visibiltiy because you are making connections with people who see and understand what you are working on.

For people who are concerned that paying attention to their visibility is about self promotion (which is doesn’t need to be), this is an excellent example of building your visibility simply by including others in your thinking and having useful conversations with them.

When you reach out to get inputs, clarfications, opinions and feedback, people feel good that you value their inputs and advice. You have created visibility for yourself, your team and your work, without being self-promoting in the slightest.

If you had just done all the hard work on your own and handed it to your manager, you would not have done as good and complete a job, and you would have sacrificed recognition and appreciation for your team.

5. Mentors

No extra team in complete without mentors.

Mentors can help you when you are in over your head, they can help you network, they can teach you things about your job, they can point out your blind spots, they can become sponsors who open doors for you. Mentors are critical to your success.

I could not have, and would not have had the career success that I achieved without mentors.

Make sure you have these 5 types of mentors on your extra team. ‘

If you want to learn a really simple way to ask someone to be your mentor, watch the short video above.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.

Was this useful?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download

5 reasons why you should BE a mentor

are you a mentor

I am always talking about the importance of getting and using mentors. Today I want to talk about also being a mentor.

Who, me?

I remember when I first joined HP, I was asked to attend a meeting to discuss mentoring.

I went in thinking, “Boy, I could really use a mentor…”

I was stunned when I realized that they called me in to BE a mentor.

At this point in my career I did not think that I had anything to offer as a mentor.

I didn’t know what I was doing

When my mentees would come and talk to me about what was happening in their jobs, I would share ideas and stories that I thought might be relevant. (I can’t emphasize enough that it did not feel like I was sharing anything of value.)

I was amazed when they would come back and say, “Thank you so much, I did what you said and it worked so well!”

…I’d be thinking, “What did I say?”.

When they repeated back to me what they had learned and what they had done, I was staggered to find out that my stories and ideas had been so useful.

You know good stuff !

The reason this happens makes sense once you think about it.

The things you know don’t seem fascinating or impressive to you because you already know them!

And this gets me to the first reason you should be a mentor…

1. You can change the world for someone

For people who are younger and less experienced than you, when you share your knowledge and experiences you can change the world for that person.

One of the greatest gifts of value you can give someone is to help them get something into their imagination.

By sharing that “this is a possibility, and it is a possibility for YOU“, you can open up entirely new paths in their life.

If this sounds overly grand, it is not.

I have had this done for me multiple times, and have done this for others. When you give people new ideas and open doors for them, it truly changes their life.

So here, this is me, putting this into your imagination…you can change the world for someone.

2. You learn stuff

When you become a mentor you learn things about how things work at different levels and in different places. Additional context always makes you smarter.

If you mentor people in your company, you get new insight about how other parts of the business work, and what people in those teams care about.

You learn things that make you a better manager and leader. You learn things that improve your judgement. You are building your network and extra team. You become more valuable.

3. Your career benefits

I wouldn’t say that this is the main reason to be a mentor, but you do get several career benefits. People who are seen as mentors are granted higher credibility and are seen as higher performers.

You can volunteer with your peers or even your bosses peers to be a mentor for someone in their organizations. So you get positive visibility by being more connected, meeting more leaders, and offering to add value.

4. You feel like you did something that matters

Many weeks or even months can go by in an executive job that leave you wondering, “What did I accomplish?” So often, executives tell me that they wish their job had more meaning.

So if dry, corporate crap is making you feel like a cog in a heartless machine, help someone else. You will feel something!

5. Everyone benefits

I love to think that if the many thousands of people who read this blog, all mentored one additional person, that more than a few truly great things would come of it, and something in the world would be at least a little better for many more thousands of people.

If you build mentoring into your team culture and values — that everyone should be a mentor to at least one person inside or outside the company — your business will benefit.

There is really no downside.

Was this useful?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.

About Patty
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download