News | March 1, 2021

Humbled and appreciative: characteristics of a good leader

By Dominique J. Shelton DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Clyde Shaeffer, supervisory inventory management specialist, Order Fulfilment (QABEX), Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Cherry Point, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, was awarded the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Leadership Award for the month of December 2020.

The award recognizes a DLA Aviation leader who espouses and exemplifies the four dimensions of transformative leadership: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration.

“DLA does a good job of capturing the dimensions of leadership in their four pillars of leadership,” said Joshua Waller, deputy commander, QABE, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Cherry Point. “In my own words, a good leader takes initiative to learn, lead, teach and manage themselves and those under their supervision, in which case, Clyde does this day-in and day-out.”

“Receiving this award was a complete surprise,” Shaeffer said. “This is both humbling and appreciated.”

Shaeffer’s regular duties consist of supervising a team who researches unfilled orders in support of Fleet Readiness Center East, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, who search for surplus material and who also request expedites for existing and future contracts. They also research alternate materials a customer might be able to use in support of the warfighter if an item is unavailable.

“We do whatever is legal, ethical and possible to get the material needed for our customer in order for them to stay on or ahead of schedule,” Shaeffer said.

However, it was Shaeffer’s exemplary leadership displayed while performing these duties that garnered this recognition.

Shaeffer ensures an average of 3,500 requisition alerts and 4,200 unfilled orders are researched monthly for submission and expedites actions. As stated in the nomination package submitted by his supervisor, Pam Kelderman, material management chief, QABEX, DLA Aviation at Cherry Point, his leadership contributes to the organization’s material availability and fill rate which consistently averages 3-4% above DLA’s overall Navy goal of 90%.

“His inspirational motivation has directly resulted in a 12% increase of satisfied unfilled orders per month (from approximately 882 to 1,386 requisitions),” Kelderman said. “Mr. Shaeffer’s superior leadership contributes to DLA Aviation at Cherry Point’s ability to provide quality, timely and cost-effective support.”

Kelderman said Shaeffer builds confidence and trust within his organization by empowering his teammates to question best practices while encouraging them to provide possible solutions.

According to the nomination, Shaeffer consistently awards deserving employees.  One of the ways he can be seen doing this is through his implementation of the monthly “Star Award” program which publicly recognizes employees within his branch, who have displayed exceptional performance for the month. Recipients of this recognition have their name added to the “Star Performer” plaque located within the department and are given a four-hour time-off award.

Shaeffer further honed his leadership skills by encouraging employees to think outside of the box without fear of making mistakes. He developed a guide and training package for the Defense Department’s Performance Management and Appraisal Program, also referred to as DPMAP, while establishing and now leading DLA Aviation at Cherry Point’s new Human Capital Mentoring Program which consists of 10 interactive sessions, a mock interview, and a completion certificate.

The interactive mentoring program was designed to prepare lower- and mid-grade employees for higher level positions. The agenda for the program includes sessions on counseling, motivating others, accountability, awards, office conflict / overcoming barriers, communication and the hiring process.    

According to Waller, participation in the mentoring program is voluntary, desired and a positive influence on culture.

“A good leader is someone who is adaptable to the mission at hand,” Waller said. “They listen, consider other viewpoints and make timely decisions.  Leaders are not afraid to fail and learn from their mistakes. This is Clyde all summed up!” 

“Mr. Shaeffer is not only an awesome leader, but an awesome individual as well,” Kelderman said. “He is truly deserving of this award.”