The adage, "It is not what you know, it is who you know," is very
true. Having a sponsor or mentor is extremely important to the
career minded individual. The unfortunate aspect is that the “who”
needs to be at a higher rank than the one you hold.

Having a mentor, sponsor, or advocate for your career will give
you access to attending meetings with decision makers. And, you
guessed it, one of those decisions they make is who will be

The sponsor will teach you how to act, speak, and otherwise
participate in important meetings and then see that you are
included in the meetings with higher ranking officials. These
meetings could be large groups or smaller, more private
meetings. Regardless of the size, they are your opportunity to

Prior to the meeting make sure your sponsor clues you in on the
personalities of key attendees and the protocol that will likely be
used. Participate as much as possible but make sure your
participation adds value.

After the meeting get a quick debrief from your sponsor while
thoughts are fresh in their mind. Another recap later will also be

Most important, do not participate in or attend any meeting where
you will be so nervous you will make a bad impression. At high
levels of organizations first impressions are very hard to shake off.

Related topics:
More business by the numbers here,
Mentoring: Finding a