ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Jay Carr, executive director, Army Contracting Command-Rock Island, hosted the first of a series of Leadership Engagement events, in the Baylor Conference Room, March 15.

During the event, Carr used video clips from the fictional movie "Caine Mutiny" and excerpts from motivational leadership speeches by author and former Naval Commander Michael Abrashoff to illustrate two very different types of leadership styles, and the resulting organizational climate. The video clips were used to spark candid conversation amongst ACC-RI's branch chiefs and directors.

As the senior leader of the organization, Carr said he wanted to ensure his leadership team is talking about the issues that affect the organization. In evaluating survey results and talking to employees at all levels, Carr sees that trust and loyalty are -- if not the number one challenge -- the thing that he wants to focus on first as a foundation for the leadership team.

"If I peel the onion back far enough, for me it always goes back to trust," said Carr. "I'm not talking about blind loyalty as we go forward, rather I want to hear from all of you what trust and loyalty means to an organization to you, your peers and your employees."

ACC-RI's overall year-long Leadership Engagement plan calls for six strategically spaced engagements -- four with the leadership team and two for the entire workforce. The intent of the program is to increase discussion and self-reflection, and in between the official events, Carr is encouraging "months of action" in which the center's leaders are challenged to develop team engagements to emphasize the strategic vision.

Following the initial event, Jessica Dobbeleare, branch chief, Information Technology Directorate, began developing a team event -- with a twist -- in an area they continuously work on: providing outstanding customer support.

"Finding optimum solutions for our customers is sometimes challenging in IT when a lot of what we buy is intangible and powers the Army behind the scenes or in less obvious ways," said Dobbeleare. "To help my team get a better perspective I am setting up a VTC in mid-April with one of the units that uses our systems. The goal is to get a more personalized experience and first-hand feedback on how the systems we support ultimately support the soldier in the field and enhance readiness."

In looking ahead at the next year, ACC-RI's plan is scheduled to highlight topics such as inspiring action at all levels; leadership accountability; the importance of the civilian workforce; balancing fun and mission execution; and servant leadership.

"What we are going to do here is, as a team, is really talk about some of the challenges that are facing us as we go forward and what collectively we come up with as a path forward," said Carr. "This is something that if you have read through [Gen. James Simpson's] Gold Eagle 6 notes and some of the priorities that have come out of ACC and AMC, leadership is one of the biggest challenges across the Army. How well we come together as a team will really determine our success moving forward."