BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
Army Col. Franyate Taylor
Deputy Director, DLA Disposition
Battle Creek, Michigan
Can you tell us about yourself? I’ve been in the Army for 29 years with no aspirations of retiring in the near future; prior enlisted service for 6 years before attending Officer Candidate School; married 24 years, 3 wonderful kids, 2 grandkids; and 2 dogs.
What would you like to accomplish as deputy director of Disposition Services? The accomplishments I make as the deputy will come from the efforts of all those within DLA Disposition Services. Primarily, I will work the director’s priorities to ensure continued progress of future endeavors.
Describe your job in a sentence or two. I’m the principal staff advisor to the DLA Disposition Services director in executing our mission to provide property accountability and reverse logistics solutions.
What is your message to the DLA Disposition Services workforce? Provide outstanding support to the warfighter. Don’t be afraid to be innovative or challenge old norms.
What is your favorite thing about your line of work? I like providing assistance to the warfighter. Regardless of what anyone does, nothing moves without logistics.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given you? Know your job and learn others’ jobs to aid in your development. In addition to that, always be patient, be brief and be ready.
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess? Integrity. Leaders of integrity do the right thing because their character permits nothing less, they possess high moral standards, and are honest in word and deed.
What is your leadership philosophy and how does that tie into your line of work? I believe that on any given day members of the team try to do the right things by utilizing leadership skills, teamwork, training and remaining disciplined.
Tell us how you approach change. Change is inevitable; therefore, I keep an open mind. I never discount the change without trying before dismissing.
What keeps you motivated? My motivation is grounded in my faith. I have a deep need to accomplish whatever comes before me, and I don’t let fear or other people intimidate my efforts.
What do you believe is your biggest accomplishment and why? I come from a single-family household with limited resources. Joining the Army was a dream just to get a college education; however, opportunities allowed me to be commissioned and extend my goals beyond just getting a degree. Never did I imagine being here 29 years later with the opportunities I have now. I’ve accomplished all my goals as a soldier; however, I continue to strive for more just to see how far I can go. I don’t measure my accomplishment-- just the fact that I love my job and serving this country are an accomplishment to me.
What are your best practices for achieving goals or accomplishing tasks? What helps me is to establish a clear and attainable goal with timelines and periodic reviews. Without timelines and reviews you will not achieve anything.
What do you see as your biggest challenge right now? Being new to DLA requires a lot of study and understanding of this environment, while learning from others, and self-educating myself on our operations.
What mistakes have you seen individuals make that prevent them from being successful? Mistakes are inevitable; however, most overthink the problem when keeping things simple leads to a more concise response. We can’t live in a risk-averse environment, but what we can do is learn from our mistakes and not make them twice.
Name your favorite book you have read. One of my former commanders told me to read “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” by Marshall Goldsmith. This book opened my eyes that what you learn at the lower levels will not make you a success at the next level. Thus, change in how you think and how you deal with people is warranted.
Tell us something that most people might not know about you? Everyone here may not know that I’m approachable. I’m a quiet thinker who has to analyze information, but it doesn’t mean I am not engaged with you.
What was your first job? After spending under two years in college, I was ready to do more with my life. I enlisted in the Army.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be an electrical engineer. However, my math skills were limited. When I started looking into military service, I wanted to join the Air Force to be a pilot. My vision didn’t afford me the opportunity to join the Air Force; therefore, I joined the Army.
Who is your hero? My hero is my mother. She was a determined, strong woman whom I admire. She instilled in me the beliefs and values of hard work and family. Her aspirations were to our family and to ensure we had what we needed even if that meant moving year after year.
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be? I would love to fly an airplane.
What are your hobbies? I’m a simple person who enjoys the company of family and friends, but my passion is fitness and traveling to places I’ve never been before.