Every one of us has a network of relationships that have impacted or enriched our lives. These relationships make up our influence capital. In other words, we have influence with people who also have influence with us which creates capital we can share with others. How? By connecting the people we coach and mentor with the people in our network of relationships who can help them grow. For example, if during the process of coaching a young leader I discover their desire to grow in an area where I have little knowledge, the best thing I can do is lend my influence capital by connecting them with a potential coach in my network of relationships. Doing so enables young leaders to gain access to expertise that they otherwise would not have been able to get. I’m not talking about multi-level marketing or some abuse of relationships. Rather, I’m promoting what professor, author, and leadership mentor, Bobby Clinton refers to as “Sponsoring.”
Sponsoring is a form of mentoring. Sponsoring essentially means that you become a connector–matching the right apprentice with the right mentor based on the needs of the apprentice and the expertise of the mentor. It means sponsoring people into relationships that will accelerate their growth. When leaders embrace this form of mentoring, they leverage their relational network for the good of emerging young leaders who need coaching in areas where your relational network may excel. When we horde our influence capital, we do two things–we limit the use of our network’s God-given gifts and we limit the growth of the young leaders God has placed in our lives. Become a connector today–share your influence capital in a strategic way with those you are coaching and mentoring.