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NEWS | Aug. 10, 2023

DNA hosts “So you want to be a senior leader” flash mentoring event

By Carlee MacPherson, NSWCDD DNA Communications Assistant

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Dam Neck Activity (DNA) hosted a flash mentoring event for those who are interested in learning what it takes to become a senior leader of an organization, Aug. 1.

NSWCDD DNA’s Director David Richardson, Deputy Director Dennis Cochran, and Integrated Training Systems Division Head Mary Kay Anderson participated in a panel and provided opportunities for small group discussion offering insights into what a senior leader is, how to become one, and what it means to be a senior organizational leader at DNA.

“The big thing we talked about is you probably have a goal for where you want to be, and if you don’t you should,” said Cochran, who with assistance from NSWCDD coordinated the event. “This provides an opportunity to talk with those who have moved up to senior positions … and ask them for advice. The benefit is the opportunity to learn.”

A DNA employee who attended, Eunice Meekins, found it to be very valuable. One takeaway she had was that, “you need to be developing skills now for your next position.” She added, “[The event] gave me some time to reflect on myself and what I’m doing now, and how to be better at it.”

According to NSWCDD Succession Planning Program Manager Andy Humphrey, “We have a responsibility to provide our workforce with the means to grow, develop and better themselves in all aspects of their lives. Today’s event highlighted that there is no one single way to meet a goal and that diverse backgrounds strengthen each individual’s readiness to take on the challenges of senior leadership.”

Tiesha Dix, who also attended the event, believes these types of events are very beneficial for employees and the command as a whole.

“The value [of this event] is the face-time that you get with the senior leadership,” said Dix. “You get to understand the hard work and dedication that they put in to get to where they are today.” She believes that these events and learning experiences will eventually, “shape the people that are interested in senior leadership.”

DNA plans to continue providing opportunities like these, with different focuses for different professional areas of development. For those interested in hearing from employees in higher-level positions about how they got to where they are, be on the lookout for the next event to participate in.