Sponsors are the key to success in the corporate world. People jumped on the success train with tickets from their sponsors — their mentors. A mentor was defined as someone approximately ten to fifteen years older, successful, secure, mature, and thoroughly committed to the sponsorette's development; indeed, a cross between teacher, uncle, wet nurse, cousin, guru and sugar daddy. They are professionally paternalistic and serve in a “god‐parent” role. It is becoming clear that corporate romance occurs much more frequently than most people care to admit. Hunt and Michael explored the concept of new managers having a mentor and discovered four stages to the mentoring relationship. The first is the inititiation phase, where the more powerful and professionally recognised mentor recognised the apprentice as a protégé. The second is the protégé phase, where the apprentice's work is recognised not for its own merit but as a by‐product of the mentor's instruction, support, or advice. The third is the break‐up stage, where the protégé goes off on his or her own. If the mentor/protégé relationship has not been successful to this point, this will be the final stage. However, if it has been successful, both parties continue on to the lasting‐friendship stage. Here the mentor and the protégé have more of a peer‐like relationship. The protégé may well become a mentor but does not sever ties with the former mentor.
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