ACPA 2014 Reinventing Leadership Priorities Succession Planning

Reinventing Leadership Priorities:
Succession Planning and Sponsorship
Jo Campbell
Higher Education Administration Doctoral Student
Bowling Green State University
Ken Borland
Professor, Higher Education & Student Affairs
Bowling Green State University
Elaine Turner
Director, Residence Life
Elon University
Learning objectives
By attending this session,
participants will be able to:
• identify the constructs of sponsorship
and succession planning
• learn how to apply sponsorship and
succession planning to their individual
career and/or student affairs unit
• elicit ideas from colleagues at other
institutions to explore how they have
established sponsorship and plan to
develop a succession plan
• Background and experience
• Interest in Leadership
 Succession Planning
 Sponsorship
What is “succession planning” and “sponsorship”?
“Succession” an orderly assumption of a predecessor’s office
act or process of following in order, in sequence, displacing another
act or process of one person's taking the place of another in the enjoyment
of or liability for rights or duties or both, becoming beneficially entitled to a property, interest,
mantle of authority, office
continuance of corporate personality to sustain, respond to, and modify the
accepted mode of responsibility transfer for organization’s good
succession planning systematic approach to build a leadership pipeline/pool to ensure
mission critical leadership continuity; develop potential successors/candidates in ways that
best fit their strengths; concentrate resource investment on talent recognition, development,
and retention
Assisted by as well as
“Sponsor” one who brings another along to move them forward
faith tradition roots one who presents a candidate for baptism or confirmation and
undertakes responsibility for the person's religious education or spiritual welfare
responsibility for another one who assumes responsibility for some other person or
thing, a person or an organization that pays for or plans and carries out a project or activity
a dedicated champion of another person’s success
Assisted by
HIED Professional Development “Sponsorships”
• enhance leadership skills, professional competency, career progression, &/or keep
employees abreast of workplace practices and technology
• foster leadership, career development, and advancement for employees
• facilitate learning opportunities and professional development via workshops,
conferences, seminars, or academic/online courses
See institutional web pages
“Sponsor” and Sheryl Sandberg powerfully positioned
helps employees escape the middle slice of management where so many
driven and talented women languish.
weaker cousin (loose relationship); a sounding board/shoulder to cry on; offers
advice as needed and support and guidance as requested; expects very little in return
vested in their protégés
offers guidance and critical feedback because they believe in
them; advocates on protégés’ behalf, connecting them to important players and assignments;
goes out on a limb, so expects stellar performance and loyalty; leans in on a woman’s behalf,
apprising others of her exceptional performance and keeping her on the fast track; in her
a woman is more likely to ask for a big opportunity, to seek a raise and to be satisfied
with her rate of advancement.
New York Times
(Forget a Mentor) FIND A SPONSOR:
The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career
Sylvia A. Hewlett (Center for Talent Innovation)
Sponsors Deliver High-Octane Support
Sponsors are senior leaders who, at a minimum:
Believes in me and goes out on a limb on my behalf
• Advocates for my next promotion
• Provides air cover
Sponsors come through on at least two:
Expands my perception of what I can do
• Makes connections to senior leaders
• Promotes my visibility
• Provides stretch opportunities
• Gives advice on “presentation of self”
• Makes connections to clients/ customers
• Gives honest/critical feedback on skill gaps
Case Study for Small Groups
Work in small groups to share whether you have or act as a sponsor and what you
and your institution gained from these relationships. If you do not have or act as a
sponsor, create an ideal scenario.
Has anyone served as a sponsor for you? If yes,
what things did they do for your career? Have you
continued the relationship?
Have you sponsored one of your staff or a student?
If so, how did you choose that person, or did they
ask you? What have you done for this person
personally and professionally that constitutes
The Hidden Brain Drain
• Why do many highly qualified underrepresented
professionals leave their jobs or stay, but languish on
the sidelines?
• Inadequate Flexibility
• Work/Life Conflicts
• Hidden Biases
• Diminished Loyalty, Trust and Engagement
The Hidden Brain Drain
How do we retain and promote top
underrepresented talent in Student Affairs?
Training and Development
Invest in your Employees
Succession Planning
Work Relationships
Stressors/Well-being in the work place
Succession Planning Steps
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Step 1: Link Strategic and Workforce Planning Decisions
Identify long-term vision and direction
Analyze future requirements for products and services
Use data already collected
Connect succession planning to the values of the organization
Connect succession planning to the needs and interests of senior leaders.
Step 2: Analyze Gaps
Identify core competencies and technical competency requirements
Determine current supply and anticipated demand
Determine talents needed for the long term
Identify “real” continuity issues
Develop a business plan based on long-term talent needs, not on position replacement.
Step 3: Identify Talent Pools
Use pools of candidates vs. development of positions
Identify talent with critical competencies from multiple levels—early in careers and often
assessing competency and skill levels of current workforce, using assessment instrument(s)
Use 360° feedback for development purposes
Analyze external sources of talent.
Step 4: Develop Succession Strategies
• Identify recruitment strategies:
- Recruitment and relocation bonuses
- Special programs
• Identify retention strategies:
- Retention bonuses
- Quality of work life programs
• Identify development/learning strategies:
- Planned job assignments
- Formal development
- Coaching and mentoring
- Assessment and feedback
- Action learning projects
- Communities of practice
- Shadowing
Step 5: Implement Succession Strategies
Implement recruitment strategies
Implement retention strategies
Implement development/learning strategies
Communication planning
Determine and apply measures of success
Link succession planning to HR processes
– Performance management
– Compensation
– Recognition
– Recruitment and retention
– Workforce planning
Implement strategies for maintaining senior level commitment.
Step 6: Monitor and Evaluate
Track selections from talent pools
Listen to leader feedback on success of internal talent and internal hires
Analyze satisfaction surveys from customers, employees, and stakeholders
Assess response to changing requirements and needs.
Case Study #1
1. A small, private liberal arts University in California, with a residential student population of about 3400
students, has a staff of six Master’s level Hall Directors in residence halls and apartments. Each of the Hall
Director has a Residence Life Fellow assigned to assist them in their residential neighborhoods. The Residence
Life Fellow must be a recent alum of the University, be interested in student affairs and particularly in
residence life. They are supervised and mentored by the Hall Director. The Residence Life Fellow assists with
residential programming, low level student conduct cases, administrative responsibilities (room checks, room
changes, facility checks and work orders etc.) and co-advises the Residence Student Association with their
Hall Director.
The Residence Life Fellow is a live-in position, a 10-month appointment, working a 40-hour week, and is
expected to take graduate level courses. The Fellow receives tuition reimbursement with the goal of
completing a Master’s Program within 3 years. The goal of the Fellow program is to create a talent pool of
rising stars and potential leaders who act independently, take responsibility for specific assignments, and
hopefully, find a career path in Student Affairs within the institution
What are your thoughts and ideas about this succession plan?
What will make this plan successful? Unsuccessful?
What competency development is needed?
Case Study #2
1. Joan, the Vice President for Instruction and Student Development at a 2-year Community College with a
student population of 2600 announced in June 2013 that she would be retiring on December 31, 2013. Joan
served as the Assistant Dean of Students (3 years), the Dean of Campus Life (6 years), and the Vice President
for Instruction and Student Development (18 years). She oversaw nine departments with seven deans and
two directors reporting to her. Six of the reporting deans have held their positions less than 5 years. Joan
was a key senior leader who carried in her head the institutional memory and essential job knowledge of the
operations of the division and college. Her position was vital in securing future success of these departments.
In November, it was announced that the national VPISD search had failed, and it was back to the drawing
board. By the time the position posted again, it was Thanksgiving, and then December rolled around with final
exams, commencement, and the holidays. Before anyone, knew it Joan had retired.
Who is in charge? How will the division function in the absence of this key employee? Temporarily?
How could the institutional memory have been preserved?
What strategic and operational challenges are faced?
Case Study #3
1. The Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at a large, public, metropolitan University in the Midwest with a student
population of 28,000 reports to the Vice President of Student Affairs with a dotted line to the Chancellor of the
University. The Multicultural Center, the LGBTQ Center, the Women’s Center and the Title IX offices report to
the dean, as well as directors of diversity-related programs including such as Upward Bound, Talent Search,
and Caesar Chavez. The Dean is responsible for challenging the status quo, and accomplishing large-scale
cultural change and inclusion across the university from entry level through senior leadership.
What steps should be taken to create a succession plan to facilitate the identification and development of a
pool of capable leaders with the practical and emotional skil s to step up?
» How will you get
or become a
» How will you
create a
succession plan
for your unit?
» Questions we can
answer for you?
Bass, B. M., & Steidlmeier, P. (1999). Ethics, character, and authentic transformational leadership behavior.
Leadership Quarterly, 10(2), 181-217. Retrieved from
Center for Talent Innovation (2013). Research and publications. Retrieved from
Center for Talent Innovation (2006). The hidden brain drain task force: Women and minorities as unrealized
assets. Retrieved from
Eichler, L. (2011, November 5). Beyond mentoring: Sponsoring. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from
Geller, D. F. (2004). Building talent pools in student affairs: A professional development model for succession
planning (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No.
Hewlett, S. A. (2013, April 13). Mentors are good. Sponsors are better. New York Times. Retrieved from
Hewlett, S. A. (2013). Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career. Cambridge:
Harvard Business Review Press.
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Robertson, T. A. (2012). Factors that impact career and employment preferences in graduate students enrolled
in a student affairs program (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
database. (UMI No. 3569551)
Wallin, D., Cameron, D. W., & Sharples, K. (2005). Succession planning and targeted leadership development.
Community College Journal, 76(1), 24-28. Retrieved from

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