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By Clinton Covert
DCMA Total Force
Leadership development never stops.
The Defense Contract Management Agency’s Leadership Development Program webpage (login required) provides a comprehensive resource for supervisors and aspiring leaders as they progress through the leadership development lifecycle.
The program is weaved into the agency’s recently published strategic plan, which champions initiatives to reach the agency’s global network of acquisition professionals.
According to Kathy Butera, acting director of the Total Force Directorate, “the agency has taken special care not to use a cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all approaches to leadership training and learning.”
Instead, recognizing its people as its greatest asset, DCMA aligned its program with the Department of Defense’s Leader Development Competencies. The competencies provide a leadership development roadmap for individual contributors, team leads, and new and experienced supervisors. The agency also harnessed Office of Personnel Management resources to provide coaching to new supervisors and leadership training to emerging leaders in a government context.
“All employees are encouraged to take the time to review the LDP webpage to gain a better understanding of the different components that make up the program, including those opportunities relevant to an employee’s current development level or those programs and resources available to those you lead,” said Butera.
The webpage encompasses many initiatives, including the Centralized Development Program, developmental assignments, Emerging Leaders Program, mentorship program and other leadership development training courses.
The CDP consists of competitively-selected leadership, management, education, and technical orientated training programs, such as department-level developmental programs, fellowships, and attendance at a senior service college.
The developmental assignments tab provides relevant information, including how the initiative offers employees assignments to develop specific leadership competencies.
The ELP framework identifies high-potential employees with additional opportunities to hone their leadership competencies through forums and real-life experiences. The webpage further explains the cohort categories for participation and the continuous learning goals and outcomes.
With many skills to develop and hone, mentoring is a crucial part of professional development, said Butera.
“The purpose of the DCMA Mentorship Program is to support leadership development and propel individuals toward their professional goals and objectives. Mentors do so by providing mentees with broader long-term advice, such as recommending possible next steps in individuals’ careers,” she said.
In addition to the abundance of developmental opportunities, the resource page includes a DCMA supervisor toolkit with reference materials and information on more than 35 key workplace topics.
As a training source for DCMA’s new supervisors, the DLEAD course now includes coaching for those transitioning into supervisor roles.
“Leadership classes and development tools, resources, and programs are only as practical as the extent to which the workforce is aware of them and the degree to which employees capitalize on these opportunities,” Butera said. “Please take advantage of what is available by visiting the DCMA Leadership Development Program webpage today.”
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