Leadership Development Council holds summit

By Paul W. Banks DLA Land and Maritime Procurement Process Support Directorate

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Leadership Development Council President William Brewington introduced the 2019 LDC Board of Directors and recognized the outgoing 2018 LDC Board of Directors to kick off the annual LDC leadership summit January 23 in the Operations Center Buckeye Room at the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime.

Donald Schulze, the LDC executive champion, welcomed the more than 80 event attendees and thanked the panel of presenters for their time before introducing the first speaker.

Each of the featured speakers discussed a letter from the word “leader” to help describe their respective thoughts on being a leader, leading, and leadership.

Michael Lisi – Leader

Lisi explained there are several “L’s” included within leadership.

One should “listen,” which is an active willingness to hold one’s thoughts to gain and document ideas.

One should “learn,” as leadership is a vocation versus just a job by constantly learning from teammates, mentors and educators.

One should be able to handle tough situations through “lessons” learned using the five “F’s” of a leader: firm, fair, friendly, frank and facts.

Finally there’s a “lead” in leadership. Can your team answer where it’s now, where it’s going and what it needs to do to get there to include stating what they need the leader [you] to do? To lead means to accept responsibility for failures, give praise and accolades for team success and have the courage to ask the team how you’re doing.

Lisi concluded with encouraging the audience to be a leader that others want to salute, not because they have to, but because they really respect the leader for being engaged, caring, courageous and thoughtful.

Todd Jenkins – lEader

Jenkins spoke to the audience of leaders and future leaders about “E” and excellence in all aspects of your role as a leader.

Jenkins referred to the 14 United States Marine Corps leadership traits of justice, judgement, dependability, initiative, decisiveness, tact, integrity, endurance (resiliency), bearing, unselfishness, courage, knowledge, loyalty and enthusiasm.

These traits will help one attain excellence in the day-to day follower role, excellence as a teammate, excellence technically, excellence in always growing and excellence in the community.

Several excellence quotes were provided by Jenkins with emphasis on Harriet Braiker’s statement: “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.”

Penny Copp – leAder

Copp directed the attendees to the “A’s” in the DLA Land and Maritime Way which states: “We provide Warfighter logistics excellence through accountability, teamwork, urgency, agility, and innovation built upon a commitment to integrity, diversity, and mutual trust and respect.”

It’s easy to see that accountability and agility stand out as indispensable traits needed for a leader, Copp said.

In addition, Copp said she believes that accessibility or approachability is a key aspect of being a leader. This means a person in a position of authority or importance is friendly and easy to talk to.

A lot of times accessibility can be achieved by management by walking around or MBWA. MBWA is a style of business management where managers actually walk throughout the workplace to check in with employees, check on equipment and the status of ongoing work .

Anita Luich – leaDer

Luich discussed the “D” of leadership with a robust breakdown of each of the letters in development.

She began the “D” with dream and develop a plan.

“E” is for education. Educate oneself on what makes a good leader and don’t forget the “soft” skills.

“V” is for visible. Be a visible leader and don’t hide behind the desk which will build trust.

“E” is for empathy, an important component of effective relationships.

“L” is for listen. Listening will provide insight to understanding.

“O” is for opportunities. Seize them as DLA is more than just these four walls.

“P” is for people. You’re not a leader without followers.

“M” is for mentorships, of which there are three levels here at DLA Columbus.

“E” is for engage. Know the team and what motivates them.

“N” is for nourish and network. Tutor and prepare your team.

“T” is for taking the time to invest in yourself.

All of the above factors can contribute to success in leading.

US Navy Cmdr. Brandi Roberts – leadEr

Roberts focused the second “E” in leader on empathy.

Empathy is not being kind, having a pleasant tone, having good manners, being generous or being courteous. Empathy is a relationship builder that removes barriers encompassing self-awareness and social awareness.

One should adopt a new mindset of “Who works for who?” The leader should work for the team and not vice-versa, Roberts said.

Empathetic attributes include perspective, non-judgmental, relevance, expressiveness, presence, self-assurance, sincerity, boldness, supportiveness and enthusiasm.

The cornerstone of empathy is listening in ratio. Remember, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Roberts left the crowd with a very poignant Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

Todd Lewis – leadeR

Lewis gave insight into resilience as the letter “R” in leader.

While there is a lengthier definition of resilience Lewis boiled it down that resiliency is the ability to function really well in the face of adversity.

As stated in the DLA resilience model, resilience provides balance to life. Life includes leadership, and leading resilient teams involves the four resilience pillars of physical, mental, social and spiritual facets.

The physical means ensuring a safe and secure environment by taking safety and security seriously, eliminating hazards, encouraging healthy behaviors and setting the example for proper behavior.

The mental means effectively managing setbacks by being realistic, setting the tone for the way ahead, involving the team in the solution and knowing one’s reaction will determine the outcome.

The spiritual means assessing the current position and determining where one wants to go, establishing a clear direction, involving the team in the plan of attack and assessing with course corrections if necessary.

The social means creating opportunities for interaction by leveraging information technology tools, being available, engaging in stress management and focusing on cross processes.

After the presentations by the seven leaders the annual LDC summit came to an end.

Robert Boggs concluded by providing a wonderfully succinct synopsis of the key points provided by each of the featured leaders.