The ITD 2018 Emerging Leaders, front row, left to right: Jack Long, Ty Winther, Greg Wozniak, Drew Meppen, Tyler Hudman, Doug Yearsley. In the middle: Nancy Casperson, Shauna Miller, Josh Sprague, Sydney Lewis, Tony Loomer (T&D staff), Alissa Salmore, David Nichols (T&D Staff).Across the back: Cecilia Awusie, Jim Phillips (T&D staff), Tiffani Brown, Aaron Baird, Sharon Short, Jeremy Gough, Crystal Grasmick, Leslie Oien, Tyler Carrico, Troy Despain, Steve Taylor, Jake Legler, Eric Staats, Mike McDaniel. Not pictured is Greydon Wright.
New ITD Emerging Leaders kick off journey
The first group of Emerging Leaders met January 9-11 in Boise to learn more about the program, expectations, challenges and opportunities they will encounter, and to formally kick-start the 18-month journey.
This initial group of 25 – chosen from 105 applicants throughout the organization - will run through May 2019.
The Emerging Leaders program — a significant component of the department’s employee development strategy — will identify and develop leaders within ITD. Participants in the program will develop leadership skills through classroom training, discussions with our leaders, and projects. Learning will focus on personal development, business acumen (understanding how ITD works and its goals/strategies), and leadership skills.
“Emerging Leaders and other opportunities are a key part of an employee-focused strategy aimed at all of us learning and working together to make ITD the best transportation department in the country,” Director Brian Ness (pictured at right) said in his recent Direct from the Director about the program.
The initial three days generated some genuine excitement about moving forward, as well as a few surprises.
“I was anticipating learning managerial skills or strategies,” explained Greg Wozniak (pictured immediately below), a sign fabricator in the Central Sign Shop.
“I was very surprised to learn of the emotional component that is part of this curriculum and the depth to which we are invited and prompted to go into our personal selves, our personal introspections, to deal with our own emotions,” he added.
Like Wozniak, everyone interviewed after the class mentioned the focus on self-awareness.
Doug Yearsley, a staff engineer in design/construction in D4, echoed the sentiment when he said, “we’ve got to start by developing ourselves first.” Tyler Carrico, a TTO in Osburn Maintenance in D1 added, “we can work on things that we recognize in ourselves.”
Emotional intelligence was also mentioned repeatedly.
Carrico described it as “how your emotions are perceived by others, and how others’ emotions can influence you or the people around you. We’re tapping into what is going on in the room, reading people, and understanding or empathizing with what they are going through.”
And it extends beyond work.
“It isn’t just your workspace -- it’ll help every aspect of your entire life,” said Nancy Casperson (pictured left), a Port of Entry Area Supervisor in District 5.
So, what were the overall impressions?
“It has been an interesting ride the last few days. The material, while we had a rough outline, how it played out in some powerful moments was very surprising, in a good way, said DMV Technical Records Specialist Leslie Oien. “It was a wonderful experience!”
David Nichols, who manages the Emerging Leaders Program, shared how unique ITD is in the area of leadership development. “I’ve worked with a number of organizations where the executives will say ‘we want to develop our people’ and ‘our people are our most important asset’…they don’t always follow through in that in the way that ITD leaders do.”
“For the past three days, we’ve had every member of our executive team that was here in the state stop in, and we’ve had a number of members of the senior leadership team spend some time with our emerging leaders. Their commitment is uncommon and truly unique to ITD, and just says so much about our leadership and our culture.”
Moving forward, many group members are excited.
“This is a really innovative program and will really help our organization in the long run,” Carrico (pictured right) said. “We’re taking people of non-supervisory positions and telling the whole organization that you don't have to be a supervisor to be a leader. We’re all in this together.”
“We can help others become their best selves as part of what we’re doing here,” added Yearsley.
Nichols said one of the goals is that group members will develop into the leaders they can be, and leave an impact.
For more information on the Emewrging Leader program and eligibility requirements for candidates, please visit the SharePoint site.