Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command

NAVFAC EXWC Leaders Empowered Through Leadership Class

08/09/18 12:00 AM

NAVFAC EXWC Leaders Empowered Through Leadership Class

By Palmer Pinckney II, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center Public Affairs,

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC) first-line supervisors and senior leaders used their expertise to empower and enhance one another’s leadership skills while attending a two day Senior Leadership class, July 25 and 26.

The training allows EXWC leaders to accelerate their mindset and learn different strategic tactics in the areas of coaching, mentoring and leadership development.  

EXWC is dedicated to leading the warfighter into the future in direct alignment with the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Navy Civilian Workforce Framework, which states that “in order for our Navy to reach its full potential, leaders must assume full ownership for the entire Navy Team.” The NAVFAC Strategic Design document also meets the CNO framework by “producing leaders and teams who learn and adapt to achieve maximum possible performance and who achieve and maintain high standards to be ready for decisive operations and combat.”

Class participants learned that they can support the CNO framework by using the 80/20 rule and focusing on the employee. The coursework explains that 80 percent of being a boss is on the positive side, such as seeing an employee having a good day or performing well on a project. The remaining 20 percent will be bad days with tragedies, discipline issues, toxic behavior or fallouts with clients.

EXWC Commanding Officer, Capt. Michael Saum, said that the class enabled a passion of readiness for the command and that its leaders will continue to be the subject matter experts and pathfinders for the Navy.

“This course allowed us to think individually and collectively about how we want to lead this amazing command into the future," said Saum. “As a newly designated Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratory (STRL), EXWC will take point in leading NAVFAC's support to the warfighter into the future.”

Lauren Arias, EXWC comptroller, found the leadership class to be effective and informative.

“The class really changed my perspective on how to become a better leader,” said Arias. “I found the leadership methods effective so that my employees can feel more motivated and succeed in their career path at our command.”

Barbara Sugiyama, NAVFAC EXWC director of environment resources and assessments, said she also gained valuable insights from the class.

“The leadership topics seem to be right on the mark,” said Sugiyama. “Current leadership trends direct senior leaders to advance our way of thinking and be more communicative to help one another succeed. I want my team of professionals to enjoy their work and the people they work with.”

EXWC supervisors and leaders participated in written and oral team exercises by sharing the benefits and challenges of leading employees. They also read and analyzed case studies.

One exercise suggests that if one does not feel the benefits of leading employees, they shouldn’t be leading. Challenges are a part of being a great leader and must be worked through to better connect with staff, get to know what they want to do and what is important to them.

EXWC leaders also categorized three main aspects that the Navy currently focuses on: mission, people, and pride. The coursework allowed them to also learn about the importance of counseling, discipline, and recognition and awards.

The class encourages participants to administer discipline quickly and effectively. They recommend asking insightful questions, getting facts and not rushing to judgement as key methods for performing timely and effective counseling. In addition, leadership should learn how employees want to be recognized when things go right and to not assume that the same award will be well received by all.

The course culminated with leaders learning that in order to be successful, their focus should be on the people, client and mission, otherwise ego and self-indulgence may block strategic vision.

Saum said that NAVFAC EXWC leaders have a strong passion to implement new ideas at the command and see their employees strive for success.

“Our leaders need to set conditions for our incredibly talented and specialized workforce in order to achieve their full potential and turn that potential into action,” said Saum. “We all need to implement leadership with our most valuable resource, our people, at the forefront of what we do and be the leaders we aspire to be."

NAVFAC EXWC is a command of more than 1,200 dedicated federal employees, contractors and military personnel who are engineering and expeditionary experts providing specialized facilities engineering, technology solutions and life-cycle management of expeditionary equipment to the Navy, Marine Corps, federal agencies and other Department of Defense supported commands. 


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