Leader Pathways

The Life of Leading Greatly  
November 2006

Mentoring Leaders for Bold Tomorrows

Individual Mentoring or Custom In-house Group Programs

Publishing and Speaking

In this Issue:

HR and the Arch: A Dynamic Partnership

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In Michael Shenkman's book The Arch and the Path we see how great leaders embark on a strenuous life path in order to transform mere possibilities into more expansive and encompassing opportunities for all. Shenkman vividly portrays how the life of leading is a journey of the mind, heart and spirit that is like no other.

Buy this book!

   HR and the Arch: A Dynamic Partnership

Michael ShenkmanThe world of human resources is changing for the better.

Many of the transactional processes that once preoccupied HR such as managing benefits and taking care of payroll are being automated. That leaves HR professionals free to begin developing that most essential ingredient of organizational success: human resources themselves. They are being asked to do what they entered the field of HR to do in the first place.

We at Arch work closely with human resources professionals in the organizations we service. Most often these are the company representatives who initially make contact with us and with whom we develop a program suited to their organization’s needs. Several of our formats usually work well for them: our three-day group intensives, our new 90-Executive Excelerator or our eight-month mentoring program.

HR professionals find that we offer a unique benefit to their stature and to their relevance in their organization: by working with us, HR becomes the gateway through which promising managers become recognized as being leaders. They become the center for convening the discussions in which leading is the primary focus. Working with us, HR becomes the place where people’s organizational aspirations can be acknowledged and appreciated. It also becomes a place where the hearts of the organizations’ aspiring leaders are known and nurtured.

This is so because Arch of Leadership mentors do not compete with HR on expertise, nor do we inject ourselves into company politics. Under the auspices of the HR department, we are simply there to care for the growth and development of a firm’s highly capable individuals, acting as HR’s agent for assuring the best leaders in the organization get paid attention to. HR professionals thus trust us to keep our focus on mentoring so that they in turn can craft individual development plans for each new leader..

Deb Perry, Senior Vice President of Organizational Transformation at Covad Communications, says it this way: “Partnering with Arch of Leadership has helped us to build leadership bench strength; a common language to share leadership experience; and a framework in which development can progress and be tracked. And for the practical minded, the benefits are measurable. The key business results have been in retention and loyalty to Covad of people who make significant contributions and would be difficult to replace. This kind of forward energy permeates through our culture.”

When working with an organization, Arch’s point of contact and administrative hub is HR. There, scheduling takes place as well as monitoring and gauging the program’s acceptance. We at Arch totally rely upon HR’s feedback to keep track of how well we are doing, including what adjustments to make, if any. It’s often too difficult for mentees themselves to criticize us to our faces, but our HR contact typically has no reservations for doing that! We are totally indebted to such ongoing “reality checks.”

When one of our programs are completed, the HR department becomes the advocate for the graduates. When leader energy is unleashed in high-potential prospects, each wants to swing into action and begin leading. HR helps get each such eager new leader in synch with his or her responsibilities so that this powerful new energy heads off in the right direction.

HR also helps us decide next steps for continuing our program. Should we work at the same executive level in the organization? Or do we saturate the organization with a leadership philosophy and a culture of leading? The firm’s HR professional is in the best position to help us make recommendations to the CEO on these next steps.

When we work with HR professionals, our program is integrated into a larger whole… it does not take place in isolation. Offering us a range of educational and developmental opportunities for its prospects at different levels HR can help our mentoring fit in and support a variety of HR initiatives that may be running concurrently or in a sequence of initiatives along with our program. One HR VP conducted a conference for women leaders in the company; another company has a prescribed leader track of programs for prospects. Again, in each case, we discussed with HR how and why our program offers essential points to learn about leading, with its focus on mirroring to the leader prospect what his or her life as a leader will be like at that moment when they begin to fully implement these points.

With HR evolvinginto a strategic resource, we at the Arch of Leadership are engaging in dynamic partnerships with HR teams so that a whole-life perspective on the demands of leading can be nurtured and grown.

To learn more, email me or call me at (505) 797-8881 or visit www.archofleadership.com Let’s explore how we can fit in with your HR development goals too, as we are doing for so many others.

Does your firm cultivate “creative leading?” If not, or if you’re not sure, see Michael’s latest article Not Taught in Business Schools: How to Cultivate Creative Leading, just published in Nonprofit World. Click here: http://www.archofleadership.com/archinthenews/archinthenews.htm#article

Web: http://www.archofleadership.com