COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Each edition of the Level II Mentoring Newsletter features a leader from a different part of the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime. Each leader is asked the same five questions in order to demonstrate the differences in their leadership styles. This October issue of the “Mentoris Times” features an interview with Dr. Robert Boggs. Dr. Boggs is the director of People and Culture and has over 35 years of experience in the federal government and 41 years of combined military service. Thank you Dr. Boggs for your service and the dedication and hard work improving and supporting, the culture here at DLA Land and Maritime!
1. What are your best practices for achieving goals or accomplishing tasks?
My best practices for achieving goals or accomplishing tasks are to first think about it. What is the desired outcome and how am I going to achieve it? I read as much as I can and I have spent a lot of time researching time management. My go to book is by Stephen Covey "First Things First" which dives into the importance of why you are doing something and then doing the right thing. Following this concept, I am able to keep my goals and tasks on target. I also rely heavily on the tools offered in Microsoft Outlook. I color code, prioritize, classify, etc. my projects to keep me on track. And lastly, they say that in order to truly learn something, teach it. So, I taught time management courses with emphasis on achieving goals and accomplishing tasks.
2. Why is networking to build professional relationships so important in achieving success?
You can’t do it alone! Expanding and building your network allows you to gain influence. Look for opportuni-ties where you can help others achieve success. This shows you are a genuine person who cares about others and the organization. Be on the lookout for people who have that something special that you can support and encourage. When meeting new people, remember their name and what they do. This will help you build a bank of potential networking opportunities. Always remember that networking is about building long and meaningful relationships that helps others.
3. What mistakes have you seen individuals make that prevent them from being successful?
While there are a lot of mistakes a person can make to keep them from being successful, the biggest mistake, I feel, is lack of integrity. If you cannot do the right thing, how can you be successful? Also, not volunteering hurts your ability to be successful. Not only does your boss take note of when you volunteer, but this offers a great networking opportunity. If you do not know your job, you cannot be successful and ultimately, you are failing the mission. Pretending to know your job or being an "all talk no action" employee will eventually pre-vent you from meeting your full potential.
4. What is the greatest career advice that you have ever received?
I didn’t have a lot of mentors growing up and had to figure a lot out myself, but the best career advice I can give anyone is to get an education. When I was in the Air National Guard I learned how important it was to get an education. Also, be a strong candidate. Position yourself for the job you want either through education, volunteering or experience. And finally, have a good reputation. You want to be the person they call to get the job done, answer a question or just want around. A bad reputation can stay with you forever, especially poor ethical decisions.
5. What would you have done differently in your career if given the opportunity?
I’ve had a satisfying career in the federal government. If I had it to do it all over, I would have completed my formal education before entering into the world of work. Who knows what opportunities might have present-ed themselves if I had taken that path, regardless; I was lucky to start my career in the Air National Guard and end my career in DLA. The luckiest people do what they love, and love what they do. I’m very lucky…