SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- When you think of “The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium,” you think of a fun filled day with family and friends. However, look closely and you'll discover there is more to those climbers high in the trees; you'll discover the future senior leadership of the Information Dominance Corps and Navy.
Recently that group of future leaders was made-up of men and women from Navy Information Dominance Forces, Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet, Naval Network Warfare Command, and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, who participated in a one-day skill-building event.
"This is part of the executive leadership module of the Senior Leadership Development Program (SLDP)," said Ahmad Mashayekh, program director of the (SLDP) and Midlevel Leadership Development Program (MLDP). "In the leadership program, participants are exposed to some theory of leadership, some of the practice, and an assessment that identifies what type of leaders they are. Then [participants go through] an outdoor adventure session of the executive leadership module, which gives them a sense of how to know each other, how to build a team, how to be part of the team, and how to make the team work efficiently and effectively together."
The SLDP is a 10-month course based on the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) five Executive Core Qualifications: Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, Business Acumen and Building Coalitions.
The program was developed out of a desire to hone the leadership skills of the civilian workforce. Using OPM, Department of Defense and Department of the Navy guidance, three tracks were created: foundational level open to pay grades GS-9 and below, mid-level open to pay grades GS-10-12, and senior-level open to GS-13-15. There are 24 seats per class and the command offers seats to co-located commands to share program costs and to broaden class diversity.
During the course, students attend offsite training two to three days a month, for a total of approximately 180 hours of instruction. Courses covered during the training includes Leading Self and Teams; Achieving Results Through Alignment and Accountability; Creativity and Innovation; Communication; Leading Change; Challenges of Leadership; and Executive Coaching.
The curriculum includes classroom work, external classroom assignments, coaching, 360 Degree Feedback Assessment, and team projects. The program culminates in a three-day capstone event where students formally present their projects to senior leaders in their organizations. These case studies explore improvements to operations within their commands or the Navy.
Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR) Training Branch Chief Dan Deighan said he believes the program benefits the command and the Navy in many ways; from skills development to positively impacting intangibles such as loyalty, longevity and recruitment.
"I think it's great that the participating commands have resourced and supported this program over the past seven years. All too often, you find commands that don't seem to want to make that level of investment to develop their workforce," said Deighan. "It might be because they don't fully realize the value of it. To me the value statement is simple: to provide organizations with the leadership skills, brainpower, vision and strategy to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. That's a worthwhile investment in my book."
Upon completion of the Senior Leadership Development Program, graduates receive a certificate from East Carolina College of Business, as well as 180 continuing education units.
For more information on Navy Information Dominance Forces, visit the command's web site at http://www.navidfor.navy.mil, or their Navy News Web page at http://www.navy.mil/local/navidfor