FRANKLIN, Tenn. (Sept. 14, 2016) – Lt. Col Stephen F. Murphy, Nashville District commander, commended a group of 13 graduates of the 2016 Leadership Development Program class today at the Buca di Beppo restaurant in Franklin, Tenn.
“You are the future leaders of the Nashville District,” said Murphy “I know this training has allowed you to have a broader understanding of how the Corps and District works.”
The Leadership Development Program, or “LDP” as it is commonly referred, is part two of a three step program to increase managerial and leadership skills of selected employees that has been in effect since 1998 in the Nashville District.
Murphy told the group that within ten years, the Nashville District will make a significant leadership change because of current and expected retirees.
“Our goal is to make you better leaders with this class and this class is here to teach Corps personnel leadership traits,” said Mary Fink, chief executive officer and class instructor, Scarlett Leadership Institute, Franklin, Tenn. “We have covered a lot of territory over the years, discussed many topics, and we are proud of our history with the Nashville District for training leaders.”
Mike Lee, a civil engineer, from the Engineering and Construction Division invited his aunt Cathy O’Connor to the graduation ceremony. He gave a brief description how the various field trips to projects and team-building activities changed his thinking and helped him understand numerous personalities.
“I’m glad I work in an organization that invests time and money in me,” said Lee. “I thank the leaders, the team members and instructors for helping me learn more effective communication methods,” said Lee.
Not only do employees learn about leadership, they collaborate on various projects with each other on specific tasks and travel around to the district working on tasks designed to enhance their leadership development skills. The class attended site visits, did service projects and provided community service.
“This was a great leadership program and I really enjoyed it,” said Kyle Cross, a journeyman mechanic from the Dale Hollow Power Plant. “Every class was a challenge and I enjoyed working with all my great co-workers on the projects and learning from the instructors,” Cross added.
The group kicked off their first session in early March by taking a True Colors assessment, which is a model for understanding themselves and others based on their personality outlook. Throughout the program the group learned about effective communication, essentials of leadership, difficult conversations, resolving conflict in the workplace, and strategic planning.
“You should be proud of yourselves because you’ve completed a unique comprehensive training programs that we hope opened your eyes and provided exposure to the employees needs and values,” said Roberta Scott Pettis, a class instructor, with the Scarlett Leadership Institute and Focus Group. “Without this exposure it’s hard to be a good leader.”
The 2016 class of 13 met once a month and conducted seminars, worked on special projects, and partook in classes at the Center Hill Dam, Old Hickory Resource managers office, Cheatham Resource managers office, Cumberland River Operations Center, and the Scarlett Leadership Institute – all aimed at developing them as a future leader of the Corps of Engineers. The LDP participants began in March and graduated in September.
Pettis said during the ceremony, leaders must have courage and graduates are expected to grow and expand from their leadership training.
“All the things you have learned are important because it allows you to grow,” said Pettis. “Leadership does not come overnight and it will take time to become a great leader but what we want you to realize is that you have the skills.”
The LDP course is a great leadership tool but if students wish they can continue to get exposure to the rest of the Corps’ missions by applying for the division-wide LDP, or LDP 3 classes.
"The LDP course is a highly selective process and I am grateful that you were chosen to attend this six-month course,” said Murphy. “Applicants must have an impressive resume to begin with and they also have to be recommended for the program by their supervisor. After that they have to be approved by a panel just to be able to take the class.”
During the class, LDP participants presented professional presentations to each other about their current position and mission for their Office and Division.
“LDP has a reputation of developing great leaders from the district, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to learn that I’m developing into a good leader," said Josh Bomar, supervisory Geologist for Engineering and Construction and a graduate of the 2016 LDP class. “This class was excellent for me to understand how to treat co-workers and be a great leader.”
Involvement in this is an added responsibility of participants in addition to their 9-to-5 jobs, some traveled three hours for classes, a task not easily done,” said Murphy.
“Now that they have been exposed to some great leadership skills, they should start inserting yourselves as a leader within the district,” said Murphy. “This class is worth investing not only for yourself, but also for the Corps, and with that I thank you and wish you good luck,” Murphy said.
Class graduates are: Christa Alford, Stacy Angel, Josh Bomar, Cody Corlew, Kyle Cross, Courtney Eason, Phil Harrell, Mike Lee, Jeff Neely, Sarah Peace, Charlie Thomason, Long Truong, and Dylon Anderson.
The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.