A day in the life of an SES

By Elizabeth Stoeckmann DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Energy employee Chris Boeding walks side by side a senior executive during a week-long shadowing experience with DLA Energy Deputy Commander Guy Beougher, Jan. 22-26.

As the division chief for the Bulk Petroleum Products Domestic West division, Boeding said his career goals include becoming a senior executive and this job shadowing opportunity provides insight.

“Things are always changing to the daily schedule,” Boeding said as he prepared to listen to a teleconference about Energy’s temporary duty assignments during the anticipated government shutdown. “I quickly learned how senior leaders must constantly strategically adapt to the situation at hand.”

The shadowing experience developed as part of DLA Energy’s mentoring program and was first introduced at a town hall meeting in January.

The shadowing program’s intent is to give participants an up-close look at the life of an Energy leader. It is designed to provide participants with professional development opportunities, professional networks, meaningful career conversations, exposure to leadership at multiple levels and a broader understanding of DLA Energy.

Boeding is the first DLA Energy employee to participate in the pilot program.

“The opportunity to shadow a leader is a unique experience to observe a desired career objective firsthand,” Beougher said. “Participants are not the only employees to benefit from the shadow program. DLA Energy leaders benefit by fostering a coaching culture and increase transparency of Energy’s business strategies.”

“This experience is providing a broader perspective and insight into major complexities of big DLA that I may not see every day working for DLA Energy alone,” Boeding said.
 
During Boeding’s shadowing experience, he quickly discovered Energy executives’ schedules are anything but typical. They must be prepared to handle global issues around-the-clock, as he listened to a discussion about the impact of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska that occurred in the middle of the night.
 
“There was a frantic rush to ensure our warfighters, DLA Energy employees and our assets were okay,” he said. “Luckily, the earthquake started miles below sea, so it had no dramatic effects on people or assets.”

Closer to home, Boeding attended several high-level meetings such as the annual Joint Petroleum Seminar and the DLA senior leader’s alignment group meeting that provided insightful opportunities to network, discuss takeaways and review action items.

“Some meetings last several hours, discussing very interesting topics that have far reaching impacts across the entire DLA enterprise,” he said. “It was informative to see the important discussions and decisions being made at this level.”

Boeding’s week culminated with a retirement ceremony where he observed DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Martin Chapin and Beougher honor an employee’s 42 years of federal service.

Boeding was able to use the one-on-one time with Beougher to ask targeted questions about executive-level leadership and strategic thinking. During those sessions, he gained valuable insight into how he can improve his personal leadership, streamline work processes and pursue career aspirations.

“One of the most powerful things the deputy commander does is positively impact the workforce,” Boeding said. “Whether through strategic initiatives, leading and communicating effectively to the workforce or simply starting a shadow program, shaping the organization for the better is always on Mr. Beougher’s mind.”

“Each day was busier than the next, providing a satisfying shadow week,” Boeding said.

At the end of February, DLA Energy Bulk Petroleum Supply Chain Services Contracting Officer Callie Lake will shadow DLA Energy Acting Director of Procurement Process Support Kevin Ahern.