Leadership forum engages, inspires GS-14-level leaders

By DLA Human Resources

DLA hosted its biennial "Building Your Roadmap to Success” Leadership Forum at the agency’s headquarters May 7-9. The BYR2S Leadership Forum is designed for GS-14 and equivalent-level employees from across the DLA enterprise. 

More than 130 participants attended. They were selected by local leaders for their strong technical skills and leadership competency, explained Teresa Geduldig, who oversaw planning for the forum while on a rotational assignment to the DLA Human Resources Human Capital Program Development team.
She described how a working group coordinated to develop the program and target competency gaps and valuable sustainment areas specific to DLA.
“The working group was vital to the forum’s planning and execution,” she said. “Working group members identified leadership topics and potential guest speakers, organized the content and format, and executed the forum. They also had the opportunity to attend the forum sessions and participate in many of the activities.”

Forum activities and events took place over two and a half days and included: large group sessions, small group workshops, a panel of Senior Executive Service members, GS-15 panels, and structured networking and peer-sharing sessions. Presentations by senior executives from the State Department and Federal Emergency Management Agency, both DLA federal government partners, were considered a highlight.
This was the third iteration of this forum. DLA Human Resources Director Brad Bunn said this forum and the two earlier versions “yielded great insights from our employees and identified the benefits and return on investment of offering an in-house leadership development opportunity for our workforce.”

“This is an opportunity for us to invest in our people and deliver a high-value event for our aspiring future leaders,” he added. “The forum is part of our overall leadership development portfolio, and it takes talent management and competency development to the next level by developing future DLA and DoD leaders.”

The BYR2S Leadership Forum supports Objective 1, “Develop Leaders,” of the DLA Human Capital Plan, which calls on the agency to “Leverage and expand leadership programs that attract, develop, and retain diverse talent to meet current and future mission requirements.” It focused on eight specific competencies from the Executive Leadership Development Career Pyramid and the DoD Leadership Continuum:

•    External perspective.
•    Strategic thinking.
•    Creativity and innovation.
•    Leveraging Diversity.
•    Team building.
•    Resilience.
•    Communication and collaboration.
•    Mission orientation.

Both anonymous and direct participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Kelly Dowd, a procurement analyst in DLA Energy called the forum phenomenal.
“In every aspect, BYR2S far exceeded my expectations!” she said in written feedback. “I’m so thankful to have had this opportunity to realize a few aspirations, engage with other leaders and recognize a few areas that I need to improve on.”

Yvonne Poplawski, a division chief in DLA Troop Support’s medical supply chain, described it as a fantastic event.
“It was truly an informative event and helped me set my 5-year plan into action,” she wrote. “I have already set up a meeting with my director to discuss my professional strategic plan.”

Comments submitted on anonymous comment cards included:
•    “This was time incredibly well spent! Insightful, relevant and inspirational!”
•    Great insight, tips, examples (on) partnership, working together, leading, the importance of taking care of your people. Again, great engagement with real leaders.”
•    “Very valuable time spent.”