News | April 7, 2016

Susquehanna graduates more than 140 from High Performing Leadership course

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs DLA Distribution Public Affairs

On March 18, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution graduated more than 140 of DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pa.’s, supervisors from the High Performing Leadership – Phase 1 program.

Across a two-week course, the supervisors improved their skills in setting the direction, job relations, job instruction, and quality control.

HPL, designed by DLA Human Resources Training specifically for Distribution, capitalizes on tried and true techniques from training within industry.

The graduation ceremony was opened by Twila Gonzales, Senior Executive Service, DLA Distribution deputy commander.  “Job number one for every leader in Distribution is to develop our workforce,” she said.

Several supervisors commented that the HPL training was “the most relevant training they have ever received.”

“Developing our workforce requires constructive leadership.  Constructive development. Constructive coaching.  It requires discipline,” Gonzales said.  “I’m committed and I know Col. New [DLA Distribution Susquehanna’s commander] is committed to making sure our teams and supervisors at all levels have the ability for constructive leadership.”

“To be good at supervision, you have to know your job,” Gonzales continued.  “Know your work. And you have to teach people your job so they can step up and do what you are doing.  We are all going to retire one day, and we must create the bench strength so that Distribution can continue to grow when we are gone.”

Dennis Turnage, deputy chief, Support Services Division, said the trainers did an excellent job and the training was a good refresher.  “Similar to driving a car for many years, we have a tendency of taking shortcuts or leaving out steps as we become more comfortable or relax as drivers.  The High Performance Leadership Class reminded me of those critical steps that I need to add back into my leadership decision making process in order to determine the best course of action for solving operational or personnel challenges.”  

“This training is good common sense,” Gonzales said. “Some of us have been leaders for a long time.  It’s good to get back to basics.”

“We must create a culture of problem solving,” Gonzales continued.  “One of the traits we want you to develop is the ability to reach out across teams, across divisions and branches.  As individuals, we don't have all answers but now you have a network of peers you can reach out to.”

Part of the training includes writing Job Breakdown Sheets.  The ability to break down a job and translate its parts into something trainable can increase speed and efficiency in rolling out changes or ensuring everyone is following proper procedures.  Supervisors reported that they are using this skill and committed to using it more in the future.

“There is nothing more powerful than problem solving when done as a team,” Gonzales concluded.  “It’s ok to make a mistake.  Let’s be resilient and get back up again.”