Join Rashim Mogha for an in-depth discussion in this video How to identify sponsors, part of Women Transforming Tech: Finding Sponsors.
- For me, going back to as I mentioned that I realized early on that I needed sponsors as opposed to just mentors. I scouted the organizational chart right. When you look at your org chart, you have to remember that there's a default org chart that exist in every organization. You look through it, but you also need to understand the power hierarchy right. So there are different players and you have to identify who are the players who hold the purses to the power. When you look at you internal hierarchy look at your stakeholders not in your direct chain but your stakeholders and look at least 2 levels above. Look also for people who have a say in the decisions. So sometimes you know, there are exects who are there and in the chain of command who might seem very powerful but might not have a say in the promotions that are being made or the new initiatives that a company is going to embark. So its very important to understand that dynamic and then form those relationships. So while deciding on your sponsors and what your sponsor pool is going to look like. Its also important to understand at what stage your company is in terms of the product line and growth. So for example if you look at a new product line or a startup, the key first few years are key for product and that's were all the investment is going in. Now after the product has stabilized a little bit, marketing takes over and then once marketing has the message in clear, sales takes over and then the sales team become more important and once there's consistent sales then financial teams become more important. So its important to identify where your product line is and where your organization is on this path. So for example in my case, I realized that we were at a stage where sales was most important so I chose my sponsors strategically in the sales organization because they were the power players at that time. So once you know that its kind of mapping-- its a 3-dimensional mapping if you would. How the hierarchy is in your organization, who are the power players and then where your product line is. Its also important to look at 4-6 sponsors at any given point in time. You have to go back and re-look at your sponsors every 6 months like are they still a valid pool of sponsors right. Some people might decide to move on to another role. I had a sponsor who decided to retire for example and while she still continues to be my mentor and that relationship has changed from a sponsor to a mentor you know she's no longer my sponsor so I had to refill that pool and continuously keep looking to find whether my sponsors ,one are still the power players in the industry where I want to grow and second, have I outgrown them. Its also important to build sponsors outside of your team so I'll give you an example I was working for a company and I was working on a product line that was really important and I had my sponsors within that product line. Now what happened after 2 years the company started de-investing in that product line. Now because this entire chain of command and the stakeholders would be impacted you know I started looking at my sponsors outside the organization and started talking to them. So when the time came that the company had to really de-invest, I already had a job through my--another sponsor outside in another company. So that's why its important to have sponsors within the organizations and outside your organization.