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News | Aug. 30, 2019

Shadow Program provides strong connections

By Kimberly K. Fritz DLA Energy Public Affairs

Program and Management Analyst Keisha High shadowed Defense Logistics Agency Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Albert Miller through the DLA Energy Shadow Program August 12-16.

High participated in bi-weekly regional command updates, Department of Defense auditing and cost transparency meetings. During her week of shadowing, she traveled with the general to meetings at the Pentagon and with the Army Corps of Engineers.

The experience provided her with a close look at what it takes to run the organization.

“DLA has many moving parts and each piece is important and requires decisions at the executive level,” High said. “The senior leaders essentially hold the success of the organization in their hands.”

The Shadow Program, established as part of DLA Energy’s employee development program, allows employees to choose the senior leader they want to shadow for professional development opportunities, networking and a broader understanding of the whole of DLA Energy, said Beverly Johnson, Strategic Communications Group, management and program analyst.

“The overall feedback has been great," she said. “The employees get to see first-hand what leaders do daily and the challenges they face. Most participants want more time shadowing their leader.”

High, who works on the military personnel team within the Manpower Division, said she gained awareness about the funds collected from fuel sales and how they are allocated throughout Energy and the DLA Enterprise.

“It gave me a perspective of how everything comes together,” she said. “I don’t work directly with fuel, therefore, learning about the places we service and potential problems we may face getting fuel where it needs to be to support the Warfighter was insightful.”

High applied to the shadow program and specifically requested the DLA Energy commander to better understand the demands of leadership at the senior level. 

Seeing how the general’s time is often not his own provided insight on the demands placed upon senior leaders, High said.

“The general has little down time to take in something as simple as a meal,” she said. “It’s a perspective I must consider as I continue my professional journey.”

High said the shadowing of a senior leader is an opportunity that would benefit any aspiring leader.

“Taking a seat in the commander’s chair is an experience you’ll learn from and appreciate,” she said.

Opportunities to shadow leaders are offered across the command throughout the year.

“Now in its second year, the shadow program continues to grow,” Johnson said. “Senior Leaders have hosted 10 employees since we announced the pilot in January 2018 with four shadow opportunities for the entire year. "We currently have three employees pending dates to shadow and we have a few months left before the close of the year.”

Employees interested in the Shadow Program can apply through the Strategic Communications Group (CAC required).