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News | July 18, 2023

DLA Energy Shadow Program provides broader understanding, exposure to senior executives

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Energy employee Daniel Poole walked side-by-side with DLA Energy Deputy Commander Dave Kless during a shadowing experience June 12-15.

As the Governance Team lead in the DLA Energy Strategic Policy and Programs Directorate, Poole said he wants to continue making a difference and taking on more challenging roles.

“I had a desire to see how my role fits in the bigger DLA picture,” Poole said. “I was able to learn a lot about the day-to-day life of the deputy commander as well as the challenges and opportunities that he faces.”

The shadowing experience is part of DLA Energy’s Talent Management Program and offers participants an up-close look at the careers and daily responsibilities of a DLA Energy leader. It is designed to provide participants with career development opportunities, professional networks, meaningful conversations, exposure to senior leadership and a broader understanding of DLA Energy.

The program is offered across the command throughout the year and spans three to five days. Selected GS 13-15 employees choose the senior leader they want to shadow. Poole chose Kless because he is a member of the senior executive service and second in command of DLA Energy. Poole listened to high-level discussions ranging from daily operations and briefing a four-star general to preparing other senior leaders for meetings with Congress.

“The shadow program gives an individual employee a personal, broader and more strategic perspective on everything DLA Energy does from supporting the warfighter and planning for contingences to developing the workforce and refining job skills,” Kless said.

Having access to top leaders was a highlight of the program, Poole said, adding that the DLA Alignment Group meeting and preparing for a Congressional engagement were the most insightful.

“Hearing firsthand the number of cascading issues that DLA addresses daily across the organization was a great experience – how issues touch each other both directly and indirectly and how information bubbles up to the [Office of the Secretary of Defense] and Congressional level,” he said.

Employee development is at the core of DLA Energy’s culture and aligns with the DLA People and Cultural Strategic Plan.

“The shadow program supports open communication and learning both up and down the chain of command,” Kless said. “The shadow gets to observe and gain understandings of senior-level management, and leaders gain perspective from the employee as well.”

Bob Gagnon, the director of DLA Energy Strategic Policy and Programs, said Poole was the perfect candidate for the program.

“The program allowed him to see how the information he and his team generate prepares senior leaders for engagements across the enterprise,” he said. “Shadowing also helped prepare him for the next level of performance and advancement.”

DLA Energy training officer Adrian Hines manages DLA Energy’s talent management programs.

“Employees can choose from various career opportunities such as the Enterprise Rotation Program, Executive Development Program, Defense Civilian Emerging Leaders Program, Logistics for the 21st Century Program and more,” Hines said. “Lunch and Learn sessions are scheduled quarterly where guest speakers share their experiences on a variety of issues.”

Read more about other DLA Energy employees who’ve participated in the program including Rachel Dunlap, Darren Dunham, Keisha High, Chris Boeding, Callie Lake and other shadow experiences.

Employees interested in the Shadow Program can learn more in this DLA Today announcement (CAC required).