News: Tomorrow's leaders today
Story by Pfc. Samuel Ranney
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. - Two base employees from Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., have been traveling across the country, writing numerous reports, and working in unfamiliar environments; all a part of a rigorous leadership training program.
Joann Williams, fire prevention inspector on base, and Anthony Plummer, maintenance mechanic here, applied and were selected to participate in the Graduate School USA Center for Leadership and Management’s New Leader Program.
The program is designed to develop future public leaders, through assessment, experimental learning and individual development opportunities, stated Greg Collins, Graduate School USA representative.
Participants are selected based on their leadership potential and their motivation to participate and complete the program requirements, added Collins.
Participants of the program are required to have a personal development plan, take assessment tests, three one-week training sessions from various leaders, write book reports, shadow a leader for a set number of days, work as a team leader, take charge of meetings and more, explained Williams.
The program also involves a 30-day career development assignment. This requires participants to work outside of their regular duty stations. Williams and Plummer both picked different jobs here based on individual interests.
“I chose to work at the public affairs shop (here),” said Williams. “My regular job requires me to interact with tenants very often. I thought public affairs would give me the skills to interact with people more efficiently.”
The Barstow native explained she applied for the program for self-development.
“It will give me the tools to become a better leader. Skills that I will be able to apply in my everyday job and utilize in the future if I am ever put in a supervisor position,” Williams added.
Williams further explained how insightful working in a different section has been.
“The public affairs office has given me the opportunity to use creative freedom. I worked with the base photographer, correspondents, and the graphic designer,” she said. “It has been much different than working as an inspector.”
Plummer, who has been working with the Human Resources Office on base, and Williams agree that the program is a great networking tool.
“The networking is especially beneficial if there is a different field you want to get into … this could be your first step in that door,” Williams added.
“The program allows you to meet and interact with different leaders all over the country,” Plummer added.
When he received the e-mail about a program to develop leadership qualities it immediately sparked an interest, explained Plummer. He went through the process of applying and getting his supervisor’s approval, and then he was accepted.
Plummer, like Williams, also applied for personal development and to make himself a better leader as a government employee supporting the war fighter.
“This was an opportunity for me to develop future skills,” Plummer added, “When I am put in a leadership position I will have the skills to do so efficiently and to make sound decisions.”
Plummer chose HRO for his 30-day career development to better his communication skills and to gain a broader perspective of how things work on base. Their mission is to fill billets throughout the base, he explained.
“I’ve had to completely step outside myself,” he said. “I went from jeans and a T-shirt working maintenance to a suit and tie at HRO. It’s a lot of communication, written and verbal, and work needed to be done in set time-frames.”
Plummer and Williams both recommend this program to anyone looking for a challenge and to better themselves.
“When I go back to my normal job, I will be more proficient and have skills to become a leader if needed. You never know when you will be needed to step up … this program gets you ready for that,” Plummer concluded.