Meeting the Life Cycle Needs of a Successful Leader
There are four distinct stages to the life cycle of a successful leader in an organization.
• Stage I-Getting Acquainted: From first contact to a potential employee, until the employee actually begins working at the company.
• Stage II- Upboarding: The initial period of “orienting” a leader and setting the stage so that the leader can utilize the specific skills that form the basis upon which she/ he was hired.
• Stage III- High Performance: The period when the leader understands the culture, the ‘rules’, etc. adds his/her own skill to the culture and performs well.
• Stage IV- Preparing for Next Steps: This period begins when the leader is considering ‘moving on’ to a different role- be it moving up, out, or emotionally pulling out.
Human resource departments have long been in the business of onboarding new staff and providing training and support for staff. This paper suggests a different model. It is based upon audits conducted by the author’s company, OptimaHR, where organizations are given recommendations as to how they can successfully assist individuals in all four stages of the work experience, not just the first two. We have found that it is important that there be a careful plan for all stages and, particularly the first stage. The quality of the information, impressions, messages, and style that individuals experience from their first contact with an employer until they are on the payroll correlates highly with each individual’s success. The goal is for Stage III- High Performance, to be the longest and most impactful stage. In order for this to happen, stages one and two need to be carefully planned and administered and the organization needs to be ready for a stage four plan as well. This presentation and paper will demonstrate best practices for each stage.
Keywords: Leader, Employment Life Cycle, Onboarding, Successful Leadership, Best Practices
Dr. Arthur Shriberg
Professor of Leadership, Department of Management, Xavier University