DLA Distribution San Joaquin, Calif., held a graduation ceremony for 106 graduates for the Foundations of High Performing Leadership training. All managers, supervisors and American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1546 leaders attended the two-week session.
San Joaquin’s commander, Marine Col. Andre Harrell, kicked off the event prior to DLA Distribution’s deputy commander Twila Gonzales, Senior Executive Service, speaking with the class and handing out the completion certificates.
Harrell was pleased with the HPL training. “I want to thank the instructors for doing a phenomenal job. This training will improve our relationships with the warfighters, first responders, and, most importantly, our DLA employees. The tools provided were very instructive and we are going to institutionalize these methods to create a thinking, learning, problem solving, productive, effective, and results-oriented climate and culture for Team San Joaquin.”
He also mentioned that inviting the AFGE Local 1546 leadership was crucial to recognize the partnership between managers and the union. San Joaquin was the first location to incorporate the union in the training.
“I appreciate you going through the HPL course,” said Gonzales said to the graduates. “I am going to hold you accountable to take what you have learned and apply it. The workforce deserves it and deserves the best leadership you can provide. If the workforce can see the benefits of these two weeks improving our leadership culture than we hit a home run.”
The course was well received by all the attendees. All agreed that they now have more techniques to put into their leadership toolboxes. Interacting with real life scenarios helped them to see both sides of a situation.
“Taking a real life situation and going through the process is helpful. It gives us the opportunity to [practice] a real-life event and find out what went well or what we could have done better,” said Ted Hackney, Receiving Division deputy.
Damiana Maggio, AFGE Local 1546 president, provided the union perspective to the training. “As leaders, we have to believe we are a world-class organization and have to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk.” We must put on our game face and express to the workforce that we are a world-class organization and the employees will believe it.”
Having the union involved was imperative because it gave managers and supervisors the opportunity to see both sides of employee scenarios. Transparency and open communication is key.
HPL training includes four focus areas: setting the direction, job relations, job instruction and quality control. The course included hands-on training, role playing and incorporates real life scenario discussions.