CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) in conjunction with the Hoosier Hills Chapter of Federally Employed Women (FEW) hosted a luncheon celebrating Women in Leadership. Paige Hinkle-Bowles, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Civilian Human Resources (DASN (CHR)), was the featured speaker at the luncheon on Wednesday, April 3 at NSWC Crane.
Hinkle-Bowles shared with the NSWC Crane workforce that leadership is something developed throughout a career and doesn’t always have a simple solution.
“Each situation may require various leadership styles,” says Hinkle-Bowles. “There have been situations where I have coached, mentored, or was more direct and clear in my communication. All of these styles can be effective. You have to ask yourself what style or styles will work best in each situation.”
Hinkle-Bowles is the senior advisor to the Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) of the Navy on policies and programs impacting the Department of the Navy’s (DON) civilian workforce. She leads strategies and assessments on policies, programs, and activities required to attract, train, motivate, and retain a civilian workforce of quality, skills, and diversity in support of the workforce.
Hinkle-Bowles says making decisions are an important part of leadership.
“Don’t be afraid to make decisions. It’s better to make decisions than to not make them at all. It can be easy to become stagnant because we want a consensus, but gather the information you need to move forward.”
Hinkle-Bowles says a second important factor to leadership is to encourage your people to broaden their experiences, even if that means they briefly leave your team for a rotational assignment.
“Think of your people as ambassadors to your organization or team,” says Hinkle-Bowles. “I started my career working for the Air Force as a civilian. I took chances and stepped outside of my comfort zone to gain unique experiences throughout my career. When my current job for the Navy opened up, there was less of a safety net for me. I knew that if I worked hard the risk would be worth it. You may be amazed at what opens up if you lean-in and take the chance.”
Hinkle-Bowles adds that resiliency is critical to being an effective leader.
“Once you’ve made decisions keeping the mission in mind, you have to have thick skin. You will make mistakes, but if they are for the right reasons you can always move forward and come back to work to tackle another day.”
NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.