Carla Harris is a business executive and author who taps into her years of experience on Wall Street to deliver a talk on sponsorship for the work environment. She begins her keynote defining 'The Round Table' event at the end of year and the dynamics of selecting employees for promotions. Harris brings her analysis to the audience.
At The Round Table, there is a person who records the outcome of the conversation, people that present the cases of candidates and invited guests that comment and discuss on said cases. Since companies advertise that their culture, as well as the process of selection, are all based on meritocracy, Carla Harris' entire talk on sponsorship is about debunking this evident myth. Her reasoning is that no matter the situation, there will always be a human component that prevents the establishment of a 100% meritocratic environment. Thus, one needs someone to advocate for them at The Round Table and that person is identified by Harris as "a sponsor."
The talk on sponsorship goes on to give advice on how an employee can go about finding someone who will vouch for them on their behalf. The speaker introduces two concepts -- performance currency and relationship currency. While the former is "delivering that which was asked of you and a little bit extra," the latter is tied to "the investments that you make in the people in your environment." Prior to asking about sponsorship, employees need to build enough capital in both categories in order to secure the highest probability of success. Next, Harris explains how to identify a sponsor and how to go about directly asking for sponsorship.
The keynote truly sheds light on inter-office decision-making and gives valuable advice on how to excel in the business environment in an informed, smart and constructive manner.