ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. IWR CES Advanced Course attendees encouraged other IWR team members to participate in the Army’s Civilian Education System (CES) Leadership Development Program. Paul Wagner, Wen-Huei Chang, Janet Cushing and Will Logan shared their experiences with the IWR team at a recent brown bag lunch seminar.
All four seminar leaders found the CES Advanced Course rewarding both professionally and personally. Among the purposes of the course is to support the CES mission to deliberately and progressively develop DoD civilian leaders as a diverse cadre of skilled, effective and efficient leaders prepared to excel in joint, interagency and multinational environments. The course seems to be a particularly good fit for IWR personnel, many of whom are already involved in joint, interagency and multinational projects.
Paul Wagner presented information about the CES series of courses and then explained that he would use what he learned from the class to listen more effectively, work better in a team environment, and support staff to help position them for opportunities and effectiveness as future IWR leaders. “I want to continue being a leadership development champion,” he said.
Janet Cushing focused her discussion around the operational environment and organizational culture and how they influence one another. She talked about how by striving to transform our culture, and thus our operational environment, that we can improve the way we work within our agency and with other agencies to meet emerging societal needs. “One of the greatest benefits of the course for me personally was gaining knowledge about our agency and DoD at large in the context of the global political scene,” she said. “We have a responsibility to the American public to collectively improve our service.
Will Logan spoke about what he learned from each course problem and how he plans to use the information back in the workplace. He illustrated each problem by describing how it pertained to his work with the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), under the auspices of UNESCO. At ICIWaRM he works with other agencies and supports the U.S. mission to UNESCO while integrating with IWR, USACE and the Army’s other missions. “But now I need to think more broadly about IWR’s and USACE’s needs, goals and missions,” he said. He then presented an example of how to use what he learned in the real world.
Wen Chang suggested that the best reasons for attending the course were the course’s group setting, team building, opportunities to learn from intelligent people you might not have otherwise met, getting outside your comfort zone, and gaining experience to move to the next level professionally. He spoke about what he learned about himself during the course and how he could improve. He then presented two actions he will take following his completion of the course. “One, sign up for another class…seriously,” he said. “Second, realign my priorities.”
“USACE is committed to support leadership development even during these fiscally challenging times,” said Bob Pietrowsky, Director of IWR. He referenced a recent note from MG Todd Semonite, Deputy Chief of Engineers, encouraging leadership development throughout USACE. Mr. Pietrowsky also commended Paul Wagner and Richard Whittington for their efforts leading the collaboration between IWR and the Army Staff Management College to bring leadership training directly to the Alexandria VA/Washington DC region.
For more information about taking the CES advanced course or other leadership courses or to get copies of the seminar presentations, please contact Paul Wagner or Rich Whittington.