WAPA’s L2I inspires new leaders - part three

As we embark on the final segment of our Leadership Learning Intensive story, we gain more insights about the course, hear from the program lead and get another perspective on what the L2I course means to its incoming participants. 

Achievements of past leadership development initiatives contribute to the success of today’s L2I program. Building upon the foundation laid by its predecessor, the Leadership Emergence and Development Program, L2I incorporates mentoring, coaching and a range of assessments to facilitate holistic growth and development. Participants walk away from the program with enhanced leadership skills and a deeper understanding of themselves and their potential to effect positive change within WAPA. 

“The L2I application process is training in itself,” notes Program Manager Troy Steadman. “It models itself after the process that GS-14s and 15s undergo to become part of the Senior Executive Service. By applying to the program, employees practice skills and gain insights into what it takes to get to the highest level of government leadership, which gives them an added advantage in their future.” 

Closed Circuit corresponded with WAPA Electrical Engineer Rajeev Neupane, who works out of WAPA’s Headquarters office in Lakewood, Colorado. He shared his insights on what the course means to him. 

What motivated you to enroll in the Leadership Learning Intensive program, and how do you envision it benefiting your career path?

portrait of Rajeev Neupane
WAPA Electrical Engineer Rajeev Neupane

I enrolled in the L2I program because I am eager to take my career to the next level. I’ve always been motivated to grow as a leader, and this program felt like the perfect opportunity to challenge myself and learn from experienced mentors. I believe it will enhance my skills and provide a supportive community where I can exchange ideas and build lasting relationships. Additionally, this program promises valuable insights, exposure and connections that will undoubtedly support my career growth and open doors to new opportunities and perspectives. 

What leadership skills or competencies are you eager to learn, develop or enhance?

I am eager to deepen my skills in communication, connection and empathy. I want to become more adept at articulating my vision and ideas clearly, especially during challenging moments. I aim to navigate complexities with more foresight and purpose by strengthening my strategic thinking. I am also excited to cultivate a leadership style that inspires and empowers others, fostering a supportive and collaborative team culture. Ultimately, I see these skills not just as professional assets but as essential tools for making a meaningful impact in the lives of those I work with. 

What aspect of the program curriculum are you most looking forward to, or what excites you most about the program, and why?

I am excited to engage with experienced mentors and fellow participants in meaningful discussions and hands-on learning experiences, training in each region and a 60-day detail opportunity out of my comfort zone. That [detail] will provide a unique insight into understanding WAPA’s mission and vision from a different perspective and see how contributions are made in the background to bring power to a house or business thousands of miles away from the source with just a flip of a switch. The fact that the entire senior and executive leadership backs this program speaks for itself. Every workshop and milestone has been assertively designed to develop candidates to be next-generation leaders of WAPA. 

How do you believe the Leadership Learning Intensive aligns with WAPA’s mission and values as well as your own?

WAPA’s mission to “safely provide reliable, cost-based hydropower and transmission” underscores the critical importance of effective leadership in ensuring the success of this mission. The program’s focus on developing essential leadership skills such as communication, collaboration and strategic thinking directly supports WAPA’s goal of delivering essential services efficiently and responsibly. Upon reflecting on WAPA’s core values, I see the L2I program as an invaluable opportunity to develop further my leadership capabilities in alignment with WAPA’s mission and values. It will equip me with the skills and mindset necessary to lead effectively, contribute meaningfully and embody the principles of integrity, empathy and service in my professional journey. 

In what ways do you anticipate the program will challenge you, and how do you plan to overcome these challenges?

Time management will be critical; I’ll set clear goals and maintain a structured schedule to stay on top of things on the road and at home. Flexibility is a must; I’ll keep communication open with my family and boss to navigate any unexpected twists and turns that come my way. Self-care isn’t just an option; it’s a necessity. I’ll carve out time for relaxation, exercise and mindfulness to keep my mental and physical well-being in check. I’m ready to embrace discomfort as a pathway to growth and approach diverse perspectives with curiosity and respect. Overall, these challenges are opportunities to grow personally and professionally, armed with a positive mindset, adaptability and the support of the L2I program. 

Do you have specific goals within WAPA or for yourself that this course will help you achieve?

This program will equip me with the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to excel in higher-level positions. I will position myself for increased responsibilities and leadership opportunities within WAPA by demonstrating proactive leadership and continuous growth. Beyond professional goals, this program is a transformative journey for personal growth and self-reflection. Engaging in introspective exercises, receiving constructive feedback and exploring new perspectives will enhance my self-awareness and resilience. This holistic development will contribute to my overall well-being and fulfillment, enabling me to thrive professionally and personally. 

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The L2I program cultivates excellence within WAPA, incorporating the organization’s commitment to creating a dynamic and skilled leadership team. By leaning into the Power Forward 2030 strategic goal of “Invest in Our Employees,” the L2I program creates a culture of continuous learning and development, propelling WAPA forward to deliver reliable and cost-based hydropower and transmission services to communities we serve. Learners are challenged to stretch beyond their comfort zones, explore new horizons and gain a comprehensive understanding of WAPA’s operations and the broader energy industry landscape. As the program continues to generate high-performance leaders, its fundamental value lies in its impact on both the individuals and the organization. 

For a look back at our previous L2I stories, click here for part one, and here for part two. 

For more information, please visit the L2I website (Internal Access). 

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WAPA’s L2I inspires new leaders – part two

WAPA’s Leadership Learning Intensive is a transformative 18-month journey that molds the leaders of tomorrow within our organization.