The Sponsor Effect



Book Title:  The Sponsor Effect: How to be a Better Leader by Investing in Others
Author:  Sylvia Ann Hewlett
Publisher:  Harvard Business Review Press
List Price:   $30.00 USD Hardcover
Format:  Hardcover, 208 pages – also available as eBook
Publication Date:   June 2019
ISBN: 978-1-63369-565-8
Reviewer:  Renee Lucero, PMP, PSM, SSGB
Review Date:  March 2020





How will you ensure your legacy? Will the initiatives and vision of your company continue to grow and thrive in perpetuity? The Sponsor Effect: How to be a Better Leader by Investing in Others, is an easy-to-read book providing both instruction and guidance on how to create an effective sponsorship. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, economist and CEO of Hewlett Consulting Partners, uses a combination of statistical data from the Center for Talent Innovation, and anecdotal stories from interviews with both protégés and sponsors to support the practical application of sponsorship in any industry and at every level of business. The author makes the case for the proper implementation of sponsor- protégé relationships based on the value it adds to the sponsor, protégé, and organization. Emphasis is placed on the benefits of sponsorship including increased promotion opportunities, with 53% of senior executives engaged in sponsorship reporting promotions, inclusion and diversity increasing profitability for businesses by increasing their market reach and ensuring the legacy by grooming the protégé to continue the growth of the organization.

Examples of sponsorship relationships range from success stories like Steve Jobs and Time Cook to less successful examples like the late John McCain and Sarah Palin. The author identifies attributes and actions which can determine the success or failure of a sponsorship while providing guidance on how to handle the challenges which can arise.

The author identifies the following seven steps to effective sponsorship:

  1. Identify potential protégés.
  2. Include diverse perspectives.
  3. Inspire for performance and loyalty.
  4. Instruct to fill skill gaps.
  5. Inspect your prospects.
  6. Instigate a deal.
  7. Invest in three ways.


Overview of Book’s Structure

The Sponsor Effect: How to be a better leader by investing in others is arranged in three sections: What Every Leader Needs to Know, The Playbook for Success, and Dangers and Legacies.  The sections are followed by five-pages of chapter notes, a nine-page alphabetical index, an acknowledgement and about the author page.

Material is arranged as follows:

PART ONE: What Every Leader Needs to Know – Three chapters: Sponsorship and the Power of Protégés ~ Presenting the Research – and Common Mistakes ~ Payoffs for Sponsor

PART TWO: The Playbook for Success – Eight chapters: Identify Potential Protégés ~ Include Diverse Perspectives ~ Inspire for Performance and Loyalty ~ Instruct to Fill the Gaps ~ Inspect Your Prospects ~ Instigate a Deal ~ Invest Three Ways ~ Integrate and Bring it all Together.

PART THREE: Dangers and Legacies – Two chapters: #MeToo and the Third Rail ~ Legacy.







Many business professionals have engaged at one point or another in a mentor-mentee relationship, while some may even believe they have engaged in a sponsor- protégé relationship. A true sponsorship is deeply reciprocal, benefits both the protégé and the sponsor, is based on trust, and has longevity. Professionals at every level need to understand the importance and benefits of sponsorship while also knowing how to properly implement a relationship…



To read entire Book Review, click here



About the Reviewer


Renee Lucero

North Texas, USA



Renee Lucero is a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP®), Professional Scrum Master (PSM), and a Six Sigma Green Belt.  She is a member of the PMI Dallas Chapter.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the College of William and Mary and is completing her MBA from the University of Maryland, Global College in June 2020.  She is a life-long student slated to begin the Doctor of Business Administration program at the University of Dallas in Fall 2020.

Email address: lucero.renee@gmail.com

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/reneelucero/


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