NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND HEADQUARTERS, – Eighty emerging leaders learned the building blocks of leadership at a leadership orientation and foundational training (LOFT) class held at Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) in Orlando, Florida, in February, March and April.
The class is the first in a series of five that members of the NAVAIR Leadership Development Program (NLDP) take over a period of three to five years.
The class introduced employees to emotional intelligence, emergent technologies such as virtual training and wellness topics such as time management. Employees also learned about Emergenetics — a tool used to analyze individual thinking attributes — and how to use their personal results to explore differences in thinking related to leadership, diversity, change management and interpersonal communication.
They also heard remarks from Dr. Heidi Kraft, author of “Rule Number Two: Lessons Learned in a Combat Hospital” regarding her experiences with leadership in a combat environment. Participants met with senior leaders during the “Lunch with Leaders” event and toured the training laboratories to see the products designed at NAWCTSD.
“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for us to grow our future leaders,” said John Meyers, director, Human Systems Department (AIR 4.6), who spoke to participants during the class. “The NLDP is one of the key building blocks in the leadership maturing process that helps ensure we are setting our future leaders up for success. The program fosters, from day one, the importance of collaboration, networking and the expertise of what each site, competency, team and individual contributes toward the NAVAIR mission. I enjoy having the first class here in Orlando, as the majority of the students have never been to NAWCTSD or have seen the products produced here, so it is a great opportunity to showcase the Team Orlando collaborative environment.”
Participants said they were impressed by the vast array of topics and activities available during the weeklong class.
“The LOFT course was truly eye opening. Not only did I learn critical skills to become an effective leader — I learned more about myself,” said Troy Bennett, based out of Orlando. “I intend to actively apply the knowledge, skills and abilities shared in my personal and professional life, as well as in mentoring teammates at NAWCTSD.”
Irma Alexander of Patuxent River, Maryland, rated LOFT “a five-day, five-star leadership program.”
“It will arm me with a suite of data that will enable me to work with peers and leaders to create a personalized plan to unlock my higher abilities and become an even stronger, inspiring and globally minded leader,” she said.
Participants also said they are looking forward to the networking and mentoring opportunities.
“The networking for the future is truly amazing,” said Shaun Brown of Lakehurst, New Jersey. “Every competency, site and discipline was represented, creating a great mix for the learning environment. I truly enjoyed the guest speakers. Being able to interact with senior leaders of NAVAIR helps me to understand the command’s big picture and how it relates to my role in the enterprise.”
Michael Brazinski, also of Lakehurst, said he feels lucky to have been selected for the NLDP.
“The initial LOFT course has helped me to identify some personal areas that I need to work on, and I have identified the actions that I need to take to improve as a leader,” he said. “I will engage as a mentor and protégé, and I will proactively expand and maintain my professional and personal networks. I look forward to all that the NLDP has to offer, and I will make the most of it.”
NLDP is a command-wide program for both civilian and military employees. The program blends critical leadership learning with productivity learning to better prepare participants for future leadership roles. Throughout this program, employees take leadership classes, attend diversity events, shadow senior leaders, choose a mentor, create an individual development plan and engage in networking, among other activities.