Mentoring program welcomes former DLA vice director

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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During a recent visit to Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, former DLA Vice Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Loren Reno shared his experiences with a group of associates in the Level I Mentoring Program. 

“The most important quality is serving, not gathering power and position,” Reno said. “Managers manage, leaders serve.”  

With more than three decades of experience in military affairs and logistics, Reno’s presentation provided valuable insight into the qualities of leadership and the importance in learning from others.

Since 2005, Land and Maritime has conducted immersive mentoring programs for associates in grades GS-9 and below, intended to expose and educate them to nine managerial and leadership subject areas. Topics include emotional intelligence, behavior based interviewing, stress management and how to conduct meetings.  

Reno’s presentation titled “What Leaders Do/Top 5 Leadership Priorities” included tools for improving in areas such as serving, integrity, balance, vision, and communication. Six mentors and 27 mentees attended the June event. 

The visit was a joint collaboration between Level I Mentoring Program Manager Brenda Minnema and Leadership Development Association Program Chair Jamieson Duval. Following his discussion, Reno attended a luncheon with members of the LDA program. 

Neil Sheaffer, an acquisition specialist at Land and Maritime was one of the Level I mentees at the presentation. He said Reno’s philosophy about the responsibilities of leadership resonated with him the most. 

“Effective leaders not only lead, but also serve,” Sheaffer said. “It's by serving others and helping those they lead achieve their goals that leaders achieve their own goals.”  

Reno presented a collection of qualities that define a good leader, and following his presentation he gave each attendee in the audience the opportunity to add to the list. He stressed the importance of always seeking personal and professional development, while remaining humble throughout career progression.

“The most effective leader is the most effective servant,” Reno said. “No matter where you are in the chain, you need to follow – and do it well.”