GALVESTON, Texas (Oct. 10, 2012) - When it comes to leadership development, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District managers understand that growing leaders will produce a substantial return on investment and enable the agency to remain relevant during tough economic times.
The Corps’ Leadership Development Program, established to develop results-oriented leaders who lead people and change successfully in complex environments, is a framework from which employees build critical skills that help develop them into tomorrow’s leaders.
“The program trains highly motivated employees and provides them with the skills and knowledge needed to become leaders,” said Regional Leadership Development Program Level I Advisor Dr. Rose Caballero, USACE Galveston District. “This is a program for ambitious people who are eager to expand their horizons.”
Although developing leadership skills is hard work and the program requires a personal investment of countless off-duty hours, that hasn’t discouraged staff from enrolling in the district’s program.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to further my knowledge about the Corps and the district,” said Administrative Support Assistant Kari Gauntt, USACE Galveston District Programs and Project Management Division. “I have hopes for future advancement and moving up the career ladder and I believe this program will help.”
For Administrative Support Assistant Mary Daugherty, USACE Galveston District Planning, Environmental and Regulatory Division, the program provided an opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of departments as they relate to the overall mission and goals of the Corps.
“I wanted to learn more about the Army Corps’ mission and values,” said Daugherty. “I also wanted to interact with employees from different job backgrounds to learn how their skills help the district accomplish its mission.”
While levels I and II are administered at the district, levels III-V are provided at the division and the USACE HQ.
Level I, designed to ease employees into leadership development, is a six-month, self-paced program that requires participants to work with a mentor.
“The first level in the program develops an employee’s understanding of USACE’s values and vision,” said Caballero. “Level I also assists participants in clarifying their own values and prepares them for future leadership roles.”
Understanding that people learn differently, the program incorporates a variety of tools such as group meetings, e-learning and self-help books to teach and motivate aspiring leaders.
“I quickly discovered the alternative teaching methods provided me with the flexibility to learn at my own pace and enabled me to become a more efficient student,” Gauntt said.
Level II focuses on increasing self-awareness and understanding of the participants’ leadership potential while exposing them to senior district leadership to gain first-hand knowledge of the skills required to lead an organization.
Regardless of whether participants choose to continue with the program after completing a level, RLDP Level II Advisor Diana Laird says that the bottom line is that the district and participants still benefit.
“Completion of any level of the program results in employees who have situational awareness of their role in the Army, the Corps, division and the district,” said Laird. “These employees possess new skills that will enhance all aspects of their jobs. Plus, participants provide energy, enthusiasm and a revitalized perspective of leadership at the district.”
During 2012, four Galveston District employees graduated from Level I with two people on track to graduate from Level II in the coming months.
“I enjoyed the camaraderie and I learned a lot from the classes and meetings,” said Daugherty. “In addition to learning about the Corps, the course taught self-development and provided me with the tools to advance in a leadership role. It was a terrific experience and I look forward to participating in the next level of the program.”
Enrollment in Level I is scheduled for Oct. 15 to Dec. 1, while applications for Level II are currently being accepted now through the end of October.
For more information, contact Dr. Rose Caballero or Diana Laird or visit the USACE Galveston District’s Career Development web page at http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Careers/CareerDevelopment.aspx. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.