News | Feb. 18, 2022

Leadership Reflection: David Powell

DLA Disposition Services Tucson Area Manager, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona

Portrait of a man.
DLA Disposition Services Tucson Area Manager David Powell.
Portrait of a man.
DLA Disposition Services Tucson Area Manager David Powell.
Photo By: DOD photo
VIRIN: 220115-D-D0441-5432
Briefly describe your job.

I manage 40 employees, providing disposition services to DOD customers with unclassified, sensitive, and critical military property, using reutilization, sales and demilitarization avenues for final disposition.   

What is your area of responsibility?

Arizona, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

How long have you worked for the federal government, including military service?

38 years.

How long have you worked for DLA Disposition Services?

15 years.

What is your favorite thing about your line of work?

Working site improvements; modernizing current buildings and outside areas to increase and simplify property flow.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given you?

Watch the ball, follow through and anticipate.  

What is your favorite memory with DLA Disposition Services?

Clearing a disposal yard in Iraq of all property on 953 trucks in 75 removal days.   

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Accept that leadership involves risk.  

What is your leadership philosophy and how does that tie into your line of work?

Treat all workers as adults. Use failures as opportunities to improve. Never blame. Work to do better. 

How would you describe your leadership style and why has it worked so well for you? 

Be the one in charge, include subject matter experts in decisions, take full responsibilities for your site’s actions.

What do you look for when evaluating top talent?

Anything that I cannot teach, for example, basic organization. You can see this very easily.  Another is general education - something that is taught to a high school level or higher. Communication – both writing and comprehension. Both these areas will reveal your standouts.   

What are your best practices for achieving goals or accomplishing tasks?

Arrive early, prioritize tasks, and focus.

A favorite or recent book?

Timeline, by Michael Creighton

What was your first job?

High school cafeteria food prep.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Still working on that.

What is your favorite quote? 

You can reinvent yourself every day of your life.  

Any hobbies?

Reading medical journals, i.e., statistics of virus evolution and treatment side effects. Deep sea fishing.