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Job Performance

How To Expect To Win On The Job


I attended a National Coalition of 100 Black Women Conference back in 2010 and listened to a fascinating speaker and member of my sorority Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Carla Harris, who had a lot to say and I listened.  She wrote a book “Expect To Win” and it discussed what it takes to make a name for yourself on the job and how to rise up through the ranks regardless of gender or ethnicity.

There was a very poignant point she made and I want to share it with you all here.  Regardless where you work  – the majority of the decisions made about you are made when you are NOT even in the room.  WOW!  That is so on point.  While you are busy working on your next deliverable management is constantly discussing your destiny with the company.  Right, wrong or indifferent it is the TRUTH!

With that said, Carla (look at me calling her by her first name as if we were close buds) goes on to discuss 4 key individuals you need to have in your professional life that will help you WIN.

  1.  The Adviser – this person does NOT need to work at the same company as you do and they can see your good, your bad and the ugly.  They help direct you to resources along your professional career.  They can give you general advice but it may not necessarily be in context.
  2. The Mentor – this person does NOT need to work at the same company but they need to have a good grasp of the context in which you operate.  They do see your good, your bad and the ugly and assist you with polishing up your act so your work is not discounted and you are continuously viewed as a valuable contributor.
  3. The Sponsor – this is the person you MUST have in your professional career who can move mountains for you. You only want them to see the GOOD and FANTASTIC side of you.  They need to know all of the wonderful and amazing things you have done on the job.  They need to be an emphatic advocate for you and a big influencer.  They do not need to be your direct boss or supervisor but many times they are.  They are the ones sitting at the table fighting for a decision to promote you (Oh you thought bosses make those decisions on their own without any input from THEIR boss – WRONG!), advocating for your pay raise and bonus over someone else (typically there is a limited pool of funds in the budget that has to be spread across the employee population) or provide rationale for why you deserve top rank on the job.  They are important to have and you must procure these types of relationships at all times.  If you don’t have a sponsor – GET ONE!  Also remember, you can have more than one.  The more the merrier – seriously.

There you have it.  Now you see why she made such an impression on me?  Her background and story is truly inspiring and to this day I remember her speech.  Want to win on the job – these key people will help you achieve just that.

You can purchase your own copy of the book and get her full perspective of how to win in the workplace.  It goes much further than the key individuals you need to have in your professional corner.  I recommend this book to all of the professionals I know.

Click the book image to purchase.


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