IMCOM selects two Fort Riley employees for mentor program
October 22, 2010
FORT RILEY, Kan. - "One of the greatest problems we have here is no one ever goes anywhere else and so their frame of reference is Fort Riley, Kansas," said Tim Livsey, director of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
"Well, we do things very well here, but other people do things well, too," he added. "If you don't know or are not engaged and not seeing inside the other installations in the Army, then how do you know how good you are. You don't know. You think you're good until you go other places."
Livsey, along with Anna Morelock, strategic information planner with the U.S. Army Garrison Public Affairs Office, were chosen based upon their application submissions to participate in the Installation Management Command Headquarters Centralized Mentoring Program.
For the next year, Livsey will be a mentor to Larry Smith, deputy garrison commander at Camp Parks, Calif., while Morelock will be mentored by Dennis Drake, director of public affairs at USAG Hawaii.
The two are among 60 IMCOM civilians chosen to be part of the program - 30 mentees and 30 mentors.
"I'm excited to have been chosen and to get the opportunity to broaden my horizons, meet new people within IMCOM and hopefully bring something back to help better our organization," Morelock said.
"It's a learning process for both of us. It's not just me teaching him," Livsey said about Smith.
The program is part of IMCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch's campaign plan to develop the IMCOM workforce.
"The challenge that he's got is the civilian workforce development program and training program does not rival what the military has," Livsey said.
One of the key components of leader development is mentoring, which also is an integral part of the military uniform side of growing leaders, but is lacking with civilians, Livsey said.
IMCOM mentoring program manager Daniel Smartt explained as part of the challenging yearlong commitment, participants will meet regularly, focusing on skill sets, career goals and Individual Development Plans.
"They will explore areas for professional growth and expand their networks of leaders in the Army Installation Management community," he said.
Livsey's intent with his mentee, which he's already started, is to begin using Lt. Gen. Lynch's "Lynch Pins" - key talking points -he can relate to his mentee.
Each of the 30 mentors will be paired up with one of the 30 mentees, with the 30 partnerships being divided into six working groups. Each working group will be given a project based on one of the six lines of effort in the IMCOM Campaign Plan. During a six-month period, each group will collaborate to produce a strategic briefing for IMCOM leadership.
The program supports Army IMCOM in numerous ways, including:
Aca,!Ac Developing skilled, committed and forward-thinking employees for higher levels of responsibility;
Aca,!Ac Recognizing and encouraging career planning within the Installation Management community;
Aca,!Ac Building the core of a work culture characterized by mentoring at all levels, with each mentee in turn being equipped to serve others as a mentor.
Officially kicking off with a conference in November in San Antonio, participants will learn more about the specifics for the next year. Additionally, the yearlong program will include a weeklong right seat ride - job shadowing - as well as repetitive e-mail collaboration, idea sharing and critical thinking lessons.
Livsey plans to travel to Camp Parks to shadow Smith, while Morelock plans to shadow Drake in Hawaii.
Morelock said she shares Livsey's same mindset - wanting to see what other installations are doing, along with learning more about IMCOM as a whole.
"As far as public affairs, I've only had experience at Fort Riley and would like to see how the rest of the world operates," she said. "As far as my personal development, I'm always interested in leadership opportunities and ways to develop my leadership skills. Anything I can learn is something I can put to use to better myself or to pass on to those I work with."
With 26 years of military service himself, Livsey plans to use some military theory about conceptualization, visualization and right to left thinking - all of those kinds of senior leader skills when he works with his mentee, he said.
"As Gen. Lynch says, 'without vision or direction, you just got random activities,'" Livsey said. "So we'll start with the framework of what is (Smith's) vision for Camp Parks."
Livsey said he feels the relationship he will build with Smith will be a lasting one.
"Once you establish the relationships in the military, these people keep up with you. And, it's not just one person, it's a whole host of people that helped me throughout my 26 years. We still talk, we still e-mail, we still share ideas, so it's more of a lifelong learning process that Gen. Lynch is trying to get going with his civilians," he said.
Livsey said he believes the mentor program will "help the mentees perhaps develop faster, think broader (and) be more visionary in where they want to take their organizations and their installations in the future."