Tad Carter, an Anniston Army Depot training specialist, discusses the necessary leadership tools with supervisors during the installation's second Foundational Leadership Training course, held earlier this month.
Tad Carter, an Anniston Army Depot training specialist, discusses the necessary leadership tools with supervisors during the installation's second Foundational Leadership Training course, held earlier this month. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo by Ben Williams) VIEW ORIGINAL

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. --  Anniston Army Depot kicked off the first Foundational Leadership Training course in December.

Developed to teach foundational leadership principles to 220 new and current installation supervisors beyond the distant learning options of Supervisor Development Course and Civilian Education courses, the mandatory course is comprised of 40 hours of direct face-to-face leadership training with course instruction consisting of lectures and scenario based exercises.

To date, 25 supervisors have participated in the class.  The attendees are randomly selected by directorate and are notified by the depot’s training office.

With a focus on building essential leadership skills, the course topics include Leadership Defined, Team Building, Motivation, Situational Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Communication, Counseling Skills, Conflict Management, Team Development and Problem Solving. Also incorporated are Applications of Leadership principles/Employee Relations Training and Employee Assistance Program, the Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP, Civilian Harassment Intervention Program, and Inspector General.

The course is designed to enhance the tools supervisors possess to perform their daily duties. It’s a statistical fact that students learn better from hands on scenario based training than virtual or computer based.

“I was somewhat apprehensive initially,” said Jeff Thompson, a toolmaker supervisor in the Directorate of Public Works. “Most classes consist of death by PowerPoint, but not this one.  I found the class invaluable. There was a self-assessment, lots of interaction and real-world experiences that forced us to learn more about ourselves and learn from each other with an emphasis on handling situations the right way.”

The intent is to establish a minimum standard of leadership training across the depot and help eliminate common mistakes.

“It’s one of the better classes I’ve attended.” said Tim Waldrop, a Special Response Team supervisor of four months in the Directorate of Emergency Services. “We became a team on day one and it could be attributed to the instructors, who put lots of energy into their presentation. The interaction and problem-solving scenarios were extremely helpful. While I’m still learning, I believe most leaders want to care for their employees and do things the right way. I highly recommend this class.”

The idea for additional leadership training for supervisors was identified by the Command Staff. Some of the areas needing improvement included discipline, counseling, awards, etc.

“The Army has programs for Soldiers who wish to improve their leadership skills so they can lead others proficiently,” said Col. Marvin Walker, depot commander.  “The intent is to make sure we have something comparable for our civilian leaders by providing supervisors with a strong foundational base on how to influence employees to accomplish organizational goals and give them the tools to become even better leaders.”

The training was created and specifically designed for depot leadership through a collaborative effort between the Depot’s Training and Legal Offices. For more information, contact me at Ext. 3273 or any of the instructors Brandy Burdette, Tad Carter, or Amanda Mullinax at Extensions 3274, 3275, or 3272, respectively.