Leadership lessons for lunch

By James Harless DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime acting Deputy Commander and Acquisition Executive Mark Brown shared his experience on the subject of leadership with more than 30 military and civilian DLA Land and Maritime associates during the “Brown Bag Lunch Leadership Conversation.” The event was hosted by the Leadership Development Council July 10 in the Operations Center Cardinal Room at the Defense Supply Center Columbus.

The LDC fosters leadership and critical decision-making skills by providing the DLA Land and Maritime workforce with continuous learning opportunities through education forums, networking and professional events.

Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime acting Deputy Commander and Acquisition Executive speaking to group of DLA Land and Maritime Associates in a conference room.
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime acting Deputy Commander and Acquisition Executive Mark Brown shared his experience on the subject of leadership with associates during the “Brown Bag Lunch Leadership Conversation.” The event was hosted by the Leadership Development Council July 10 in the Operations Center Cardinal room at the Defense Supply Center Columbus.
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime acting Deputy Commander and Acquisition Executive speaking to group of DLA Land and Maritime Associates in a conference room.
Brown discusses leadership with associates
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime acting Deputy Commander and Acquisition Executive Mark Brown shared his experience on the subject of leadership with associates during the “Brown Bag Lunch Leadership Conversation.” The event was hosted by the Leadership Development Council July 10 in the Operations Center Cardinal room at the Defense Supply Center Columbus.
Photo By: Charles Morris
VIRIN: 190710-D-LC637-0192
“I’m often asked ‘what’s the most important aspect of becoming a leader?’ To thy own self be true is what I always answer with,” Brown said. “You have to know your own talents, strengths, interests and desires. You may desire a promotion, but is the job the right job for you? Is the location right for you? It may be a promotion, but if you know it goes against who you are, it might not be the best move for you.”

Brown, assumed the duties of the Acquisition Executive for DLA Land and Maritime in 2018, is part of the senior leadership team that oversees more than 2,500 associates at 37 locations worldwide, and is head of Contracting Activity for DLA Land and Maritime

Prior to being inducted into the Senior Executive Service Brown served as the Director of DLA Land and Maritime’s Procurement Process Support Directorate, where he was responsible for DLA and DOD acquisition policy development and oversight, integrity and compliance, that focused on the contracting process for DLA Land and Maritime supply chains.

Brown shared that in addition to his time at DLA Land and Maritime, he was fortunate enough to develop his leadership skills while serving in the U.S Navy. Brown’s career in the Navy spanned more than 27 years, with diverse duty assignments such as a supply officer aboard the USS Emory S. Land, La Maddalena, Italy, and the special assistant and executive assistant to the principal deputy, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition.

During his presentation, Brown shared the tenets of leadership he has collected and implemented throughout his career and encouraged those in attendance to begin making a list of their tenets.

“Remember, as I stated earlier, to thy own self be true,” Brown said. “These are my tenets, they may not work for you, but, throughout my career I found these principles to have the greatest impact on my ability to lead.”

Brown shared the following:

  • Set short and long term goals.
  • Search out and take as many new opportunities as possible.
  • Do what makes you happy.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Get educated.
  • Know your specialty.
  • Surround yourself with good people.
  • Surround yourself with smart, hardworking people.
  • Work hard, be willing to work harder than those around you.
  • Be productive.
  • Ask for hard jobs.
  • Treat subordinates well.
  • Pick meaningful metrics and track them.
  • Volunteer for special assignments.
  • Don’t be afraid to provide candid feedback.
  • Hold people accountable.
  • Try not to sweat the small stuff.
  • Pick your battles wisely.
  • Keep your sense of humor.
  • Take care of yourself: mentally, physically and spiritually.
  • Be fearless.
  • Don’t be afraid to make a decision.