In this episode, Sam Shriver, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at The Center for Leadership Studies, asks Jeff Chambers to discuss the role of Organizational Culture, Onboarding and Performance Management in leading others to achieve their potential.

Episode Transcript


Welcome to The Center for Leadership Studies podcast, an exploration of contemporary leadership issues with experts from a variety of fields and leadership backgrounds. In this episode, Sam Shriver, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at The Center for Leadership Studies, asks Jeff Chambers to discuss the role of organizational culture, onboarding, and performance management in leading others to achieve their potential.

Sam Shriver 

Talk a little bit about the role of the manager or the leader in developing talent. What goes on during an effective onboarding? What does the leader or the manager do effectively to get people to really reach the potential they’ve got on the job?

Jeff Chambers

It’s very easy to hire somebody that meets all the technical requirements of the job. The harder skill is to find somebody who’s going to meet the culture of the organization or the culture of the team that they’re going into. When I was at SAS, we used to say we hire hard and manage easy. Very hard to get hired could take a very long time, but we’re looking for a good cultural fit, somebody who’s going to be there for the rest of their career. And not many employers do that, but when you do that, you get 3% voluntary turnover.

So I think it starts in the hiring process. Then in onboarding, make sure they get the right feel for the organization. Understanding of where they fit in. There’s a lot of communication that goes on as they’re going through their job. Constant feedback. Performance management shouldn’t be a once-a-year thing where you’re checking off the boxes and sliding the form under the door, the whole idea of the annual dreaded form.

If it’s a surprise that your employee is doing good, bad, or indifferent, you haven’t done your job as a leader; you should be able to give that feedback constantly and tell people and correct them early so they can try not to make the same mistake again. Then you don’t have to ding them on the performance appraisal. Now, a lot of companies don’t do that. They look at these as a bell curve and forced ranking. Rack them and stack them. If all your leaders are doing the right job, everybody should be performing at their highest potential.


Jeff Chambers is the Director of HR and legal at The Center for Leadership Studies. He is also a Vice President with Goodwin Executive Search, responsible for business development and search execution. He serves as the Secretary-Treasurer on the Board of Directors for World At Work and is also an advisory board member at Alpha Marketing.

Jeff spent the majority of his career with SAS Institute, a software company that consistently ranked high on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. During each of the eight years, Jeff was Vice President of Human Resources. For seven years prior to that, Jeff was SAS’s senior corporate counsel. After leaving SAS, Jeff was appointed senior vice president of human resources and legal affairs for PRA International, a global clinical research organization. Most recently, he served as chief human resources officer at Vitant Health Systems.

Jeff is a work-life-certified professional. He earned a BA in Political Science from Bucknell University and a JD. From Villanova University of Law.

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