District Digest News Stories

Commander supports building strong leadership development

Nashville District Public Affairs
Published July 8, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 8, 2011) In one of his first tasks since taking command June 24, Nashville District Commander Lt. Col James DeLapp emphasized today the importance of building strong leaders during a class at J. Percy Priest Lake for middle management employees enrolled in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Leadership Development Program.

The Leadership Development Program, or “LDP” as it is commonly referred, is part two of a three step series to increase managerial skills of every day employees around the Corps that has been in effect since 2006.

Not only do employees learn about leadership, they also travel around to the district projects and collaborate with each other on specific tasks designed to enhance their leadership development.

 “Programs like this are unique because it gives exposure to the employees to go out and see and learn all the different day-to-day functions of the Corps, not just a specific area, “ DeLapp said. “Without that exposure it’s hard to be a good leader.”

The first part, Employees Achieving Greatness and Leadership Excellence, or EAGLE, is a class of about 16, whereas LDP is more concentrated at a class size of 12. Once a month for three to four days at a time the LDP class conducts seminars, works on special projects, and partakes in classes at Belmont University – all aimed at developing them as a future leader of the Corps of Engineers. Collectively EAGLE and LDP run in a two-year cycle.  LDP participants begin in January and graduate in December of every other year.

Lt. Col. DeLapp also said that the Corps has developed a future model for the whole federal government. “LDP and EAGLE are two great programs, and it’s great to take time to invest in future leaders.”

Yvonne Hamilton, assistant to the LDP Program Manager Tadd Potter, also had great things to say about the program.

“You can ask anyone who has been through LDP.  It’s really a good program and effectively makes great leaders, yet also teaches them how to communicate their ideas effectively, which is something I feel the Corps needs right now,” Hamilton said.

The LDP course is only half way through its entirety but students have a chance to continue to get exposure to the rest of the Corps’ missions if they decide to apply for the division wide LDP, or LDP 3.

“The LDP course is a highly selective process, applicants must have an impressive resume to begin with and they also have to be recommended for the program by their supervisor,” Hamilton said. “After that they have to be approved by a panel just to be able to take the class. The division wide LDP is even more selective of an already highly selective group of individuals.”

LDP develops future leaders, and even as leaders we’re always developing,“ said Potter, a graduate of the 2009 LDP class.

As participation in this class does not count as annual leave employees take on this extra responsibility as well as their responsibilities of their 9-to-5 jobs, a task not easily done, but did warrant praise from the district commander.

“After these three-day excursions your day-to-day job sometimes requires you to stay a little late and and work a bit harder just to catch up, but know this: it is worth investing not only for yourself, but also for the Corps, and with that I thank you and wish you good luck,” DeLapp said.

(For more news and information about the Nashville District, follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube pages.)