Mentoring is highly regarded as a career‐enhancing phenomenon necessary for any aspiring executive. Several debates within the literature have led to a lack of consistency regarding the definition of mentoring and a mentor, the functions of a mentor, and the various types of mentoring. It appears that much of the confusion stems from the relationship and association of mentoring with the concept of sponsoring. Within the majority of the literature regarding developmental relationships, sponsoring has been posited to be a sub‐function of mentoring. This paper presents two arguments for viewing and examining mentoring and sponsoring as distinctly different, non‐mutually exclusive, and possibly concurrent phenomena, as well as offers universal definitions for both terms. This delineation is offered to aid aspiring executives in their decision making process as to whether to select a mentor, a sponsor, or both.
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