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Building a Leadership Development Program

​​By Philip Reed

In February, WAPA launched its Leadership Development Program. The LDP was developed by the Leadership Development Taskforce, itself created in response to feedback received through the culture assessment and Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which indicated interest in WAPA increasing its investment in leadership development.

Serving both current and future lead¬ers, the LDP was temporarily headed up by Financial Program Analyst Brittanie Paquette, whose detail with the group will continue through October. On July 8, the LDP welcomed Program Manager Troy Steadman as the first leadership development program manager.

Steadman previously worked as a Human Resources specialist with the Bureau of Reclamation. His focus was on training, leadership and employee development, making him a natural fit for LDP manager.

“I have passion and enthusiasm for leadership development,” said Steadman. “I also have a wide range of communication, training and leadership development experience.”

At Reclamation, Steadman worked with six regional training officers to implement the organization’s employee-development programs. He also devel¬oped and led a structured assessment process to identify the best candidates for Reclamation’s own competitive leadership development program. 

“Troy is passionate about leadership development and earned a reputation at Reclamation for strong crossregional collaboration,” said Chief Strategy Officer Jennifer Rodgers in her announcement.

Steadman will lead the program as it grows and defines itself as one of WAPA’s important pathways to potential advancement. 

“I am excited to be able to build on the foundational work already done here,” Steadman said. “Huge shoutout to Brittanie and to the leadership develop¬ment taskforce! I am also excited to take our leadership programs to the next level.”

“WAPA’s Leadership Development Program is an example of employees’ voices being heard,” Paquette said. “The Leadership Development Taskforce presented a roadmap and framework for what a Leadership Development Program would look like, and WAPA’s Senior Leadership Team supported the idea.”

The Leadership Development Taskforce consisted of members repre¬senting each region, Headquarters and all functional groups across WAPA. This ensured that the eventual LDP would have a similarly high level of inclusiv¬ity as its backbone.

The end result of having a func¬tional LDP was one that took months of planning and careful consideration on behalf of the Leadership Development Taskforce. That team spent several months researching and identify¬ing leadership development best practices from the electric utility and government industries, as well as several private organizations. 

By the time they had their proposal complete and received approval from the SLT, it was late 2018. 

“We are very excited to be able to bring this program to life,” continued Paquette.

In May, the LDP offered its inaugural Leadership Culture at WAPA course, consisting of four morning sessions. 

“This course was designed to help employees within their first year at WAPA understand the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of the organization,” Paquette ex¬plained. “We plan to offer this course again in October. It will be held on a recurring basis as a cornerstone of the Leadership Development Program.”

Also within its first months of activity, the LDP has published the Leadership Competency Model and the Leadership Competency Model Guide on its myWAPA website. 

The Leadership Competency Model was developed to be specific to WAPA and illustrates the desired competen¬cies for employees in all areas of the organization.

“The model is a great way to get a sense of your strengths and opportuni¬ties as an employee and, potentially, as a leader,” said Paquette. “I’d encour¬age all employees to take a look at the website content. There’s something for everyone to learn.”
In the near future, the LDP is plan¬ning to provide WAPA-wide training on the model.

“We are going to have some great offerings throughout the remainder of this year,” concluded Paquette. “Check out the LDP website for up-to-date information on courses and resources. We’re here to help you develop your leadership skills and continue to unlock your potential.”


An image of the fundemental competancies model circular chart



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