News | May 4, 2016

Oklahoma City and Corpus Christi graduate first High Performing Leadership class

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs DLA Distribution Public Affairs

More than 50 Defense Logistics Agency Distribution supervisors from Oklahoma City, Okla., and Corpus Christi, Texas, recently graduated from High Performing Leadership: Part One training.

These supervisors learned tools and techniques in the areas of Set Direction, Job Instruction, Job Relations, and Quality Control.

These foundational training modules are part of the Distribution Leadership System.  In DLA Distribution, leaders must:

1.     Create a safe and healthy work environment;

2.     Provide the highest possible quality and service to the customer;

3.     Reduce cost through the elimination of waste;

4.     Develop the full potential of the leadership and workforce through mutual respect, trust, accountability and cooperation;

5.     Build a learning culture through problem solving and continuous improvement;

6.     Develop a resilient distribution system capable of addressing changes in demand and customer requirements.

“DLA Distribution must deliver more value at less cost,” said Ed Visker, DLA Distribution Organizational Development, to the graduating supervisors.  “We do that by developing a high performing culture.”

"This was the best class I have ever attended," said Judy Tudyk, DLA Distribution Oklahoma City supervisor. "Every morning we reviewed what we learned the day before and we built on that learning."

“I’ve been a supervisor for 25 years and I believe in life-long learning, but I discovered in this class that I had shut myself away from some new approaches,” said Troy Barker DLA Distribution Corpus Christi Packing, Packaging, Preservation and Marking supervisor.  “When the class went through the four-step method to handle a problem, I realized I was not always solving the underlying problem.  It has caused me to re-think several of my current approaches to problem solving.”

"I was impressed that the class included actual work,” said Srdan Kurtovic DLA Distribution Oklahoma City.  “I'm confident I can take these tools to the floor and use them and instruct right now." 

"It's more important to get a count right than to get a couple of extra stows," Ned Laviolette, DLA Distribution Oklahoma City director, said. "We sometimes feel pushed for production at the expense of quality.  The focus on quality from this class was excellent!”

"It's very important to know your employees," said Dennis Wheat, DLA Distribution Oklahoma City. "Job Relations reminds us that our employees need to be treated as individuals to get the best results."

“Following the steps and talking to my peers really helped me,” said Blessings Foster, DLA Distribution Corpus Christi Inventory supervisor.  “I’m using the processes they taught me now and I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with other supervisors I don’t see every day.”

“Every supervisor is a problem solver,” Visker said.  “As DLA Distribution grows, we will grow our problem solvers.  We want your ideas as we move forward.  The ability to improve is simply identifying problems and solving them.”

Oklahoma City has worked conscientiously to achieve audit readiness and, as such, has not completed many Corrective Action Plans.

"I learned how to follow up if we find an error using the CAP process," said Luke Dalvine, DLA Distribution Oklahoma City.  "I feel I'm ready now to perform a CAP when needed."

“Supervisors need to be able to perform and teach the jobs they supervise,” Visker said.  “Leaders are teachers and you can now use Job Instruction to coach your people back to standard.”

“Practice these tools and techniques so they become habits,” Visker challenged the supervisors.  “As you coach your team, think about baseball’s first base coach or football’s quarterback coach.  These coaches give instant feedback to bring players back to standard.”