HR Leaders as Mentors and PeacemakersIn Chapter 7 of Winning, Jack describes Bill Conaty as “pastor and parent.” This metaphor speaks to the need for HR leaders to manage conflict, be a confidant and supporter to help other leaders be their best, and to deliver tough news without pulling any punches.
- While this is admirable, is it too much to expect HR leaders to fill this role? Explain. Include specific reference to the course materials or other sources to support your position.
- Share an example from your own professional life where you have either taken on the role of pastor-parent or have benefited from from the support of a pastor-parent type.
Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your time zone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your time zone.
1st person to respond to
Dear Professor and Classmates,
In Chapter 7 of Winning, Jack describes Bill Conaty as “pastor and parent.” This metaphor speaks to the need for HR leaders to manage conflict, be a confidant and supporter to help other leaders be their best, and to deliver tough news without pulling any punches.
While this is admirable, is it too much to expect HR leaders to fill this role? Explain. Include specific reference to the course materials or other sources to support your position.
I think that not only should HR leaders fill as pastor and parent, but managers and leaders throughout the organization should also have this responsibility as well. As Welch points out, the pastor role serves as the person who listens to employees’ challenges while the parent role provides direct, honest feedback (Welch, 1). This is important to deal with issues that can be personal in nature. When HR has a seat at the table, they can take on this responsibility and teach others (peers, managers, and leaders) to effectively serve in a similar role. If HR was the only group who served in this role, it would alienate a large portion of employees who would feel more comfortable approaching people outside of HR for advice. In the Agoda study, Robert Rosenstein built an HR organization that empowered the manager and employee relationships (Mark, 2). I believe a balanced approach to delegating this responsibility throughout the organization is the best practice.
Share an example from your own professional life where you have either taken on the role of pastor-parent or have benefited from the support of a pastor-parent type.
I played the role of pastor-parent with a direct report in my past job. I had a direct report who was highly talented and very effective in his job. He began to have performance issues, and he confided in me that he had substance abuse issues. I played both the pastor and parent roles. I listened to him vent many times, and I encouraged him to take time off to seek professional help. I gained his trust through numerous sessions where I would just listen to him talk about his issues. Finally, I gave him candid feedback on the consequences if he continued going down this path. He eventually took the advice and made a radical change. His career and personal life have significantly benefited from his effort and bravery to make those changes. I still keep in touch with him, and it’s fantastic to hear his progress.
- Jack Welch. (2005) Winning. HarperCollins
2. Ken Mark. (July 19, 2017) Agoda People Analytics and Business Culture (A). W17429. Richard Ivey School of Business. Ivey Publishing
2nd person to respond to
Good afternoon, Dr. Wallace, and Classmates,
Expect HR leaders to fill this role.
HR leaders have the position of power and primacy in the organization. They also make sure people have the special qualities to help managers build leaders and careers. The best HR types are pastors and parents. (Welch, 1). Our manager and our HR manager work alongside each other, and our HR manager is the primary person in our organization. Our manager goes to first HR first when she has a dispute or conflict with one of her agents. They provide the company with polices, trust, candor when it comes to delivering the structure and the standards of our company and a resolution resulting around the conflict. (Brett, 2).
Example of Pastor-Parent
In our organization we have and agent who is always late and she never wants to help the customer on the phone to best of her potential. She even places her callers on hold to long before she is always texting a friend or family member on her cell phone. This has been going on for the past two years. I have been appointed a pastor-parent to find out what our agent is looking for within our company and to find out why she is not understanding the company policy regarding lateness. When I decided to talk to her, and she shares with me that she does not like our department managers practices. I explained to her that she would need to speak with HR and our managers and share her feelings about the way they are treating her.
This way they can come to a mutual agreement with one another. I even shared with our agent that I am always available to talk even if she cannot speak with our department manager. As I read chapter 7 of Jack Welch Winning practice number 4 says Face straight into charged relationships with unions, stars, sliders, and disrupters. (Welch, 1). Believe it or not our agent fits right into this practice. I say this because our manager gives touch evaluations, she does start with her bad behaviors, and she explains that it needs to change. She takes this agent head on and now HR has been included with every meeting. Our reservations manager and HR is providing our agent three written write up chances to get her act together. We now hoping this works for the agent and for our team. Because every company needs to have a team who is willing to work, have opinions, and share their thoughts if they believe the companies practices are not to their liking.
1. Jack Welch. 2005. Winning.
2. Jeanne Brett. 2017. How to handle a disagreement on your team.