News Release, NAVAIR
HEADQUARTERS, NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.–If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, 149 employees took their first one at the Journey Leadership Development Program (JLDP) orientation here June 11.
The two-year program gives NAVAIR military and civilian employees the ability to learn more about themselves and how to lead teams and projects through mentoring, creating individual development plans to set their career goals, taking leadership classes, shadowing senior leaders, attending leadership and diversity events and participating in professional reading, among other activities.
The program ties into the ongoing command commitment to leadership development and is intended to complement the senior-level leadership program, NAVAIR Leadership Development Program.
Esteban “Steve” Lopez, a flight test engineer based out of Orlando, Fla., said he decided to apply to the program to supplement his 30 years of military leadership.
“I believe that JLDP will provide me with another layer of leadership tools that will help me and my command succeed in the future,” he said, citing the networking component of the program and the ability to meet employees from different NAVAIR sites.
Sarah Raley-Dale, a financial management analyst in Patuxent River, said she’s also looking forward to the networking and job shadowing to “tap into and experience a whole other world of NAVAIR.”
“I hope to gain a bigger picture of NAVAIR and improve ways we meet mission critical needs,” she said. “The more training and experience I acquire to help me grow as a leader, the better I’m able to mentor others, streamline initiatives, encourage innovative processes and most importantly, meet the needs of the fleet.”
Michele Maples, who heads the Applied Innovation Branch in China Lake, Calif., decided to apply after her supervisor suggested it.
“I feel working your way through the ranks as high as you want is a great goal, and one that is very obtainable with the tools that NAVAIR provides, JLDP being one of them,” Maples said.
During the orientation, employees heard from Garry Newton, NAVAIR’s deputy commander, who gave them tips to succeed as a leader:
- Learn how to manage your time. “Your time is your most precious resource,” he explained.
- Prove you can get things done to build trust and confidence in your skills and, ultimately, take on more responsibility.
- Hone your communication skills so you can share your successes and good ideas.
Newton also addressed the command’s move toward a mission-aligned organizational restructuring.
“This is all about speed,” he explained. “How can we do our work faster?” He said the command will begin to redesign work based on three principles: focusing on outcome over process, giving a greater level of empowerment to the workforce and integrating functions better. He reiterated leaders like the JLDP participants will be needed to help with the change, which began this past April.
Both Newton and Julie Guy, acting JLDP administrator, implored participants to take advantage of the many networking opportunities.
“Treat this program and cohort group as a network for yourself,” Newton advised. “You’ve got a great opportunity to do it with people from all different disciplines and sites.”
Guy agreed: “This is about networking — getting to know the future leaders, and that’s you. Find out how they can help you, and you can help them. You’ll only get out of it what you put into it, so get out there and make those connections.”
The orientation also included an overview of the program and its requirements, a Q&A session, and a viewing of the “We Are Naval Aviation” video. The first class begins in August. Find more information on NAVAIR’s training and career development initiatives here.