By Sarah P.​​

The Leadership Development Program aims to cultivate learning and leadership by developing authentic leaders who embody WAPA’s core values and leadership competencies. Creating opportunities that enable employee potential, develop the current and next generation of leaders and attract and retain top talent is not an easy business, but it’s a fulfilling one. 

In 2021, the LDP has run and launched several programs, which have reached more than 1,000 individuals across WAPA and the Department of Energy.

20:20:20 Supervisor Forum

Supervisors meet the second Wednesday of every month for 20 minutes of presentation from senior leaders at WAPA, followed by 20 minutes of guided conversation on this topic in breakout groups and then 20 minutes of free networking within those breakout groups. 

In 2021, more than 200 supervisors heard from 12 senior leaders on topics such as How to Have Difficult Conversations, Leading Teams Through Change, Don’t Take the Monkey, Public Service Motivation, Political Savvy and the D.C. Environment, Employee Recognition and more.

360 Leadership Assessments

The 360 Leadership Assessment helps individuals gauge their development in all 27 WAPA competencies listed in the LDP’s Leadership Competency Model. 

Participants rated themselves and selected a team of colleagues and other individuals for feedback rankings, ranging from Level 1, fundamental awareness, to Level 5, expert. A total of 607 assessments were completed for 61 individuals in 2021 alone.

Leadership Essentials Series Monthly Webinars

Nearly 200 individuals each month tune in for various leadership topics ranging from senior leadership interviews to workshops on skills to add to your leadership toolbelt. 

The LDP partnered with organizations such as the Ombudsman, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, higher education institutions and others to bring these webinars to WAPA.

Topics included an interview with Administrator and CEO Tracey LeBeau and Leadership and Safety with Safety and Occupational Health Director Jamie Withers. There were also webinars on Networking, Leading Through an Equity Lens, Creativity in the Chaos and the Mundane, Career Pathing, Decision Making, Burnout and Disengagement and more.

Line by Line Non-Book Book Club

Line by Line is a monthly forum where leadership topics are uncovered and discovered. Each month, participants review a leadership-focused topic through various media, such as videos, podcasts, articles and sometimes books! 

In 2021, the program hosted approximately 30 individuals each month, covering 10 Habits of Highly Resilient People, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Are You a Giver or a Taker?, Hidden Brain Podcast: The Double Standard, The Dunning-Kruger Effect, Crucial Conversations, The Power of Disconfirming Evidence and many other topics that challenged individuals to see beyond their own perspectives and take what they’ve learned back to their teams.

Foreman Leadership Program

More than 40 foremen participated in this ongoing program to develop their professional skills and prepare themselves for future leadership positions.

Topics covered in their sessions with the Leadership Development Team include team building; emotional intelligence, including an assessment performed by certified professional Leadership Development Specialist Brittanie Paquette; resilience and psychological safety as it pertains to leadership; and physical safety in the workplace.

Emerging Leaders Development Program

The ELDP recently graduated its first cohort of 30 individuals. The Leadership Development Program extends a hearty congratulations to these individuals on their completion of such an involved program. They’ve taken significant steps to further their professional development and better themselves as leaders.

Senior Leadership Development Program

Seven individuals at WAPA participated in the SLDP, a curriculum-based program offered by the Center for Creative Leadership and the University of Michigan.  

These are 40-hour programs hosted over many weeks, focusing on the journey toward becoming a transformational leader who can engage employees, inspire people and build a culture defined by collaboration and commitment.

Participants engage in topics such as positive and authentic leaderships, goal setting and creating a motivational culture through a combination of action-learning experiences, interactive lectures, group discussions, team exercises, case studies and real business projects. 

The SLDP also includes one year of coaching and mentoring after completion of the curriculum.

Mini Summit

With the onset of COVID-19, strong leadership skills have never been more in demand. Organizations around the world require agile responses to evolving short- and long-term needs.  On Oct. 6-7, the LDP hosted a virtual Mini Leadership Summit centered around the book Mastering Leadership by Robert Anderson and William Adams.

More than 200 of WAPA’s team leads, supervisors and managers heard from speakers from The Leadership Circle, as well as Sacramento Municipal Utilities District CEO Paul Lau, motivational speaker Anita “AC” Clinton of Be Great Global, Equal Employment Manager Charles Montañez and Leadership Development Program Managers Brittanie Paquette and Troy Steadman.

The Mini Summit focused on leading in a hybrid world and the need to incorporate Mastering Leadership principles called Creative and Reactive Leadership.

The WAPA-wide Mentoring Program

The long-awaited WAPA-wide Mentoring Program arrived in November, immediately exceeding the LDP’s goals with more than 60 individuals signing up to participate. 

Mentoring is a key component of leadership development and aligns with WAPA’s core value of “Seek. Share. Partner,” as well as the Leadership Development competency of “relationship management.” The first official cohort begins this month and will run through June. 

Participants will complete Strengths Finders assessments, meet monthly with their mentoring partner and grow in their knowledge of WAPA, their industry and each other.

Professional Coaching

This program launched for supervisory positions at WAPA in October 2021. Leaders can get individualized coaching sessions to help them work through career development, analysis paralysis, employee development and more. 

The goals of this program are to increase the leadership acumen among WAPA’s supervisory core, promote diverse approaches to problem solving, bring awareness to individually held blind spots and provide another option and resource for overall professional skill development.

Open Enrollments

These skill-based workshops connect WAPA with subject matter experts in all kinds of topics, such as Influencing and Political Savvy and Interviewing Skills. They help participants learn tools, such as using a delegation model, theories of employee motivation and steps for giving and receiving feedback. 

In 2021, more than 400 individuals received training from the LDP’s various open enrollment offerings, and WAPA’s first group of individuals will be receiving the two-part Conflict Management training beginning this month, followed by additional open enrollment opportunities, such as Communicating Scope and Impact.

Upcoming Programs: Learning Leadership Intensive

WAPA’s new program, Learning Leadership Intensive, or L2I, is launching for dynamic self-starters with proven communication and leadership skills. 

This program is designed for individuals who desire to serve in higher-level leadership positions in the organization. L2I prepares them for the next level via traditional, experiential and developmental experiences. If you are a GS-13, GS-14, AD-5 or AD-6, keep an eye out for an email notification to formally announce the program early this year. 

Note: The author is a leadership development specialist.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023