Hello SOTGC community,
“You down with PPP, yeah you know me!” A little Naughty By Nature while we work, anyone?
Music homage plus trivia aside, PPP is an acronym I came up with when I first started my own business nearly five years ago. PPP stands for “Professional Power Partner.” A PPP is not a mentor. In fact, PPP’s are different than mentors in many ways.
While mentors often work at more advanced levels and in the same field as their mentees, PPP’s work in a variety of fields and are often at the same career level as their counterparts. PPP’s are out there forging to get ahead and, while doing so, they believe in the power of collaborations and strategic alliances so everyone can grow to the top together.
Mentors offer advice. PPP’s offer opportunities. Mentors offer encouragement. PPP’s offer honest insight from the trenches. PPP’s are a part of your flock. While they are quite fine flying alone, they prefer to fly together to soar to greater heights. So how can you find the best Professional Power Partner for your professional advancement while also ensuring you can be a reliable PPP for someone else as well? Here are three things to consider:
Take your time when choosing a potential PPP. A prospect is a prospect, whether it’s a potential business partner, mentor, date, OR professional power partner. Personalities come into play when uncovering your “true crew.” Just as you wouldn’t go from first date to an engagement, you want to spend some time getting to know your potential PPP at a personal and professional level. Do they value the same things as you? Are they reciprocal and open, or guarded and protective of their time and energy? How often do they start conversations inquiring about you, your day, your goals versus leading with their brand, business, and promotions? You want a partner, so don’t rush into any arrangements to ensure you really get to know someone deeper than their Twitter bio.
Quality versus quantity. Not everyone you meet is going to be an ideal PPP. In fact, true to many ratios in life, focus on quality, not quantity. I have a solid three to five Professional Power Partners in my life at the moment. And I won’t take on any more than that to ensure I protect my time and energy and collaborate with those who eat, breathe, and sleep reciprocity, as if it’s second nature. As you start to advance in your career or grow in your online visibility, more and more people will want to “pick your brain,” collaborate with you, and seek your advice and insight. While I am all for paying it forward and being open, helpful, and transparent, I am also about you investing your time wisely to continue growing and evolving. So start with one to two professional power partners that you’ve vetted and, if it feels right, incorporate more into your corner as time goes on. One solid partner is better than ten who only believe in one-way streets.
Keep tabs. Sometimes, the reason why we need a PPP (or they need us) is that our giving/receiving ratio is off. Nothing creates an imbalance more than one person giving all the time and the other only receiving. These patterns and habits aren’t intentional. Sometimes these behaviors are passed down to us from our families, or we pick them up at work. The main point here: As you get, give. Part of your professional power partner’s role (and yours as well) is to gently say to one another, “Hey, you’ve been SUPER supportive of me this week and I’ve noticed you shying away from receiving help. Let’s start with you today as I don’t want resistance and avoidance to inhibit your success.” No accusations, no triggers. Just straightforward, “let’s make sure we’re in the flow” transparency to ensure you both rise to the top together.
Of course, this article wouldn’t be happening without the support of my PPP’s, including our very own Marney, my dear friend and accountability partner Melissa Burkheimer, my fellow #Ambitionista MJ, my fav Instagram friend-turned-real-connection Kitty Hilton, and my own mentee Kara Isreal who continues to teach me as much as I teach her. These are a few of the many women I have known over the years and refer to as my PPP’s.
Have a professional power partner of your own to acknowledge? Spread that love and praise today. Share this article, share a note of thanks to your PPP’s and mentors alike or simply comment below with your favorite advice and insight on professional power partnerships. Together, we grow. Together, we conquer. Together, we dream, and, most importantly, together we achieve.
“You down with PPP? Yeah, you know me!” Sorry not sorry, neighbors. Turning up the Naughty by Nature tunes and do a PPP happy dance.
Join me and my PPP MJ for #Ambitionista chat on Monday March 16th, 6:00 pm pacific.