Leaders Emerging And Developing Program - Class VI

June 15, 2022

One of the most important investments an organization can make in its success is leadership development and succession planning. The NCR's Leaders Emerging and Developing (LEAD) program is a perfect example of NCR making that investment in our most significant asset, our human resources.

Every year, for various reasons, several NCR candidates toss their hats in the ring to be considered for this professional development opportunity. Some have aspirations to lead for GSA, and others have an outside interest. Many complete the program to sharpen their leadership skills and maybe learn a few more.

Screenshot of zoom meeting with some of the graduates of the program. They are all smiling and facing their cameras

NCR's Leaders Emerging and Developing (LEAD) program is led by NCR FAS Deputy Regional Commissioner Darrick Early and Thomas James of the Leasing Project Management Division. James and Early have been committed to sharing their expertise to grow the NCR workforce and inspire budding leaders to bloom for almost ten years now. "I am thankful for the Senior LEAD leaders that led the initiative for us to be intentional and effective in our leadership roles. I am excited about the path forward in my career aspirations as I continue to lead from where I am," said Sharon Onyeneho, a student of the 2022 LEAD class.

The individuals who step up to apply to this program identify themselves as having something to offer beyond their position description. Merely seeking to participate in the program demonstrates initiative to achieve the growth necessary to become a successful leader.

"I am very happy to have been selected to join the LEAD Program. It was a great experience working with like-minded leaders. This virtual experience allowed us to think outside of the box while expanding on our creativity to work cohesively together and create a space for inclusivity," added Onyeneho.

The NCR LEAD graduates affirm that they learn valuable lessons to draw upon in all areas of their lives. When asked what she took from the program, Kate Melville of Class VI shared, "The most important thing I took from the class is the desire to learn more. Leadership is not about work or managing but "little moments that can touch individuals." I want to focus less on myself and more on how I can help others shine. I have taken away great ideas for books and podcasts that I will be getting into. I think being a good leader is really a journey, and I loved being able to start in this group setting. We all weren't perfect but really willing to try to be better and help each other."

When asked about the challenge of completing the program virtually, student Michael Gerrior offered, "As a maverick facing this new normal, I found trust hard won, and hard to come by in a virtual environment. Understanding that trust is key in establishing a highly-effective team, my group created small-talk get togethers: impromptu, ad hoc virtual coffee talks online, weekly. Once we put these meetings in-place, and the attendance rose, the trust within our team flourished.

My biggest take-away from my time in the LEAD program: 'Lead from where you are.' It does not matter if you have a supervisory role, if you see a gap, recognize you have the skills to manage it forward. This doesn't mean usurping your chain of command, but we've all seen situations where taking ownership of an issue early creates a better outcome for the taxpayer, and GSA."

"This program has opened my eyes to how I communicate with others and how I WANT to communicate with others,"' said Emily Snyder, a student of the 2022 LEAD class.

Lakeya Hayden, student of Class VI added, "The LEAD Program has taught me many vital skills that are needed in order to be an effective and successful leader. I am honored to have been a part of this amazing program!"
Every LEAD graduating class prepares a final project. The project addresses a common work-related issue, illustrates a management style or simply shares what the participants learned from the program. This final assignment is an opportunity for the graduating class to apply lessons learned when preparing the presentation, and working together to do so. Here is a summary of the Class VI final project. The LEAD Class VI will graduate on June 15 with a virtual ceremony.

All NCR employees, pending supervisor approval, are eligible to apply for the LEAD Program. For more information, contact Chayla Lewis at chayla.lewis@gsa.gov.

Last Reviewed: 2022-06-16