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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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

Support or Sabotage? The Monday MOVE IDEA


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“The Monday MOVE Idea”

Each Monday until the launch of my upcoming book MOVE, I’ll be sharing an important idea from the book.

This Week: Support or Sabotage? Reduce Your Personal Risk

“Am I the only one who cares about this?”

Make sure you are never the only one who cares about whatever program, strategy or transformation you are leading.

Always ask yourself, “Who else cares about this?” If there is no one at an equal or higher level than you who actively cares about what you are doing, there is too much risk.

Growing Risk…

I have seen this happen to leaders too many times and it is a real shame. Here’s how it plays out:

The leader is brilliant, well liked, and generally well respected. They launch a new strategy or transformation initiative which they are personally very excited about and invested in. They get their team on board. But then they make the mistake of thinking that only their organization needs to stay informed and involved throughout the long Middle.

This thinking is indeed a mistake. You need to make sure you are not the only one who cares by securing genuine sponsorship, and maintaining it throughout the project.

It’s not about politics

Some leaders are comfortable building bridges and securing sponsorship and others are not. I’ve worked with executives who see no value in communicating outside their organization at all. They think it’s a political game, without value, and even somehow morally wrong to focus on communicating instead of working.

They try to stay on the high ground and say, “I don’t play politics. I believe that my results will speak for themselves.”

It’s not just about results, it’s about effectiveness

And it’s about the harsh reality that your results seldom ever speak for themselves without some shepherding of the communication about them from you.

Sabotage…

If you don’t invest the time and effort to build sponsorship, as soon as your initiative gets attacked, you by definition are personally under attack, because there is no one standing with you.

In that moment you will not have high credibility because your strategy, what you alone are doing is called into question.

At that point the powers that be will be looking for others to validate what your strategy. If there is no one eagerly stepping up to validate what you are doing — you will lose.

Read MOVE

I’m really excited to share all the tools I put in my upcoming book MOVE to help you get your organization to execute your strategy or implement your key initiatives more decisively — Including ideas to build sponsorship along with building your own confidence and courage.

MOVE will be available in February, but you can download a free preview now.
Click to download
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What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my 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
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