Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) hosted a graduation for the second Cadre of their Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD) Program on Jan. 29.
The LEAD Program is a leadership development opportunity designed by the Training and Workforce Development division for SWRMC employees in entry to mid-level, non-supervisory positions. The program's objective is to prepare employees for future leadership opportunities at SWRMC and other Department of the Navy agencies.
"Leadership development is essential to the longevity of this Command," said Capt. David Hart, SWRMC's commanding officer. "In alignment with Naval Sea Systems Command Campaign Plan 2.0, we are empowering and equipping our talented people with the requisite skills to ensure they are equipped to meet our mission."
The curriculum spans six months and students participate in many command level initiatives including networking, High Velocity Learning and process improvement training, job shadowing with executive leadership, and a Capstone Project. Courses on change management, emotional intelligence, managing projects, and effective writing and speaking are also part of the program.
"I highly encourage anyone that would like to develop their leadership skills or refine interpersonal skills to take advantage of the LEAD Program," said Erika Prado, from SWRMC's Business Operations Department who enjoyed the ability to connect and network with fellow Cadre members during the program. "The most significant takeaway for me was learning the differences between management and leadership skills and knowing when to apply each. Equally as significant, I learned the importance of creating an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, knowledge sharing, communication, and trust in its people."
According to George Christensen, Training and Workforce Development Training Manager, the program trains participants "to stand ready to take their place as leaders. They now have a personal mission to go forward and lead, while always remembering that sometimes you lead by following."
Dexter Meyer from the Production Department shared some of the lessons he learned from the program, saying, "It's never too late to change. Things don't get better by chance, it gets better by action." Meyer also added, "All ideas should be brought to the table. Generating great ideas of creativity leads to innovation, which is essential for the growth of any environment."
The program ends with the participants' presentations of their Capstone Projects. The projects are the culmination of hard work throughout the six month program and are related to communication, development, and morale improvement ideas. Many of the Capstone Projects have already resulted in process improvements at SWRMC.
"The Capstone Projects this year focused on community and digging deeper into what that means at SWRMC," added Hart. "It's through building trust and confidence in the SWRMC community that will allow us to meet our mission and be an organization the Navy can depend on."