Model of Development-
Oriented Leadership


A leadership style that is focussed on development over five phases

The task of managers is to achieve the best possible performance with their employees and to reach goals. An equally important task is to develop employees. If these go hand in hand, managers foster a development (even of their own) of performance and impact and competencies and roles that takes on a life of its own. This is how to develop people and companies. To this end, manager courses are needed which are geared to the needs of employees in the different phases, because employees make the difference.

Phase 1 | Orientation

The first phase is one of orientation. New employees work in their own new environment with caution. They require a lot of information in order to better understand how things work here. The more unfamiliar the new environment (such as a change of branches or public to private sector), etc., the more intensive this phase is experienced. In this phase, management’s main responsibility is to integrate the employees socially and in terms of work content, and to make them quickly able to work as well as to clarify the motivation and interests. The orientation phase can, of course, also affect a manager, for instance, when he/she starts a managerial position in a new company.

Phase 2 | Discussion

The second phase involves in-depth discussion and clarification of expectations. Here, new employees have gained confidence (provided the first phase was successfully completed) and know their work environment meaning that their initial hesitancy gradually fades and they are injecting their view of things more. Implicit norms of collaboration which have developed over time in a team, are now more often disrespected because they are either ignored (for lack of knowledge) or questioned by new employees. Differences of opinion and conflicts should be used by managers as a (more or less) welcome opportunity to thoroughly clarify issues. In this phase, both sides are intent on recognising the current level of ability and performance.

Phase 3 | Performance

The third phase of productivity can only start once the set conditions of cooperation have been outlined in such a way that there are no unresolved or latent conflicts. Enough openness has been established so that issues can be brought up without things escalating to a conflict. This new quality of collaboration allows for an even stronger focus on an independent performance. The task of the manager in this phase is to support and further develop employee performance by way of mutual target agreements and coaching.

Phase 4 | Corporate-oriented attitude

In the transition to the fourth phase, employees have shown that they not only complete their tasks well, but that they also have the ability and are willing to show a stronger, more versatile commitment to the company over and above their own tasks. This phase can be achieved by all employees, but does not have to be. Very often this applies to people who develop a special interest in development, both in their own and in that of the company. Allowing for this development is characteristic of management in this phase.

Phase 5 | Transition

The fifth phase is one of change. Employees take on new tasks, leave a position, a team, or even the company in order to develop themselves more elsewhere. This phase can come after any other. The transition is prepared in this phase, both with a view to succession and to knowledge management and, if necessary, how to prepare for the employee’s departure. If new employees arrive, the cycle starts from the beginning again with the individual phases that have different characteristics.

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