The first stop of the Planning Associates program included a three-week course in Alexandria, VA covering orientation, team building, team leadership and effective communication. The first week of classes covered introductions and the class learning about who they were as a team.
The 2013 class took a course pre-test and the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator test to learn each team member’s level of knowledge in planning and to learn about each member’s personality. The team also learned about expectations for the coming year and how the team would work together to meet the goals and objectives of the program.
At the end of the first week, the Planning Associates class held the first Great Planning Associates Race around Washington, D.C. The race was the first teambuilding stage for the 2013 class. The race built trust within the team and gave the class the opportunity to learn about the USACE’s history in planning by visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and the Washington Monument. The race concluded at the statue of the “The Awakening” in National Harbor, MD. The statue is representative of the next two weeks of the course, which covered topics such as team building, team leadership and effective communication.
Building trust was just one of the 21 leadership skills reviewed. Over the two weeks, the class covered the following leadership skills:
- Time management and professionalism
- Myers Briggs – communication
- Three critical norms for a performing team
- Team – stages of development
- The change process
- Situational awareness and critical thinking
- Five dysfunctions of a team
- Building trust
- Three keys of empowerment
- Decision making / problem solving
- Conflict management
- Vision setting and logo development
- Situational leadership for teams and individuals
- Leadership styles and development
- Four processing skills
- Communication – written and oral
- Presentations and briefings
- Coaching, counseling and mentoring
- SMART planning
2013 Planning Associates Vision
After learning about the skills needed to be leaders, the class was given the opportunity to implement those skills by developing a vision statement and logo for the class. The following sections detail the vision and logo developed by the 2013 Planning Associates.
Growing as Leaders
Serving with Integrity
The vision statement is written in the poetic form of a haiku with each line containing 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively for a total of 17 syllables. The haiku format represents creative simplicity while following the constrained set of rules that define a haiku.
The class logo begins with a delta shape, the mathematical symbol for change. Within the delta, in a field of red (representing the engineer regiment) are 12 stars signifying the 12 members of the class. The center of the logo contains the sky, rising sun, earth and water features, all of which represent the environment within which we live and work.