USAMMDA Employees Participate in Leadership Training

Judy Holian Diane Ullman Kathy Berst

Judy Holian (left) and Diane Ullman (right) pose with Kathy Berst (center), senior medical acquisition advisor for the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, at the Excellence in Government Fellows program graduation. (Photo courtesy of Diane Ullman)

Leaders are not created overnight. It takes years of experiences, training and learning from mistakes to develop the skillset and mindset of a leader. The Excellence in Government Fellows program was created to prepare leaders to excel personally and professionally. Two U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity supervisors recently graduated from the EIGF program: Judy Holian, chief of the Office of Research and Technology Applications; and Diane Ullman, deputy director for Clinical Services Support Division.

Holian and Ullman learned about this program from their co-workers at USAMMDA. Holian was searching for a federally recognized and endorsed program, when a co-worker recommended the EIGF program.

"This type of coach-led leadership training was exactly what I was looking for," said Holian. "I was also interested in a program that extended over a period of time, allowing individuals the time to develop and increase their skill set, versus, just a one-time training session."

The program is a year-long commitment and participants remain in their full-time jobs while meeting for seven sessions, each lasting three to four days. Participants also devote an average of five hours per week on course projects and course readings.

The program is broken out into seven areas: values, vision and mission, driving results, leading people, leading change, building partnerships, business acumen, synthesis and celebration. These sessions are all held in the District of Columbia and one in Williamsburg, Virginia.

"The benchmark speakers were phenomenal and provided an opportunity to gain insight into other government organizations to see what challenges they face and how they approached solving them," said Ullman. "Overall, a common theme that resonated with me was that it's 'all about the people', which we heard over and over again from presidential appointees to senior executive staff and retired military officers."

According to Ullman, the course highlights were too many to list. One highlight in particular was the idea that leaders need to keep their people happy and good, successful work will follow. The fundamentally simple idea that keeping your subordinates happy will in turn reflect in the quality of their work "is a powerful message."

The professional coaching was a critical and effective element of the program and contributed to the growth of each fellow.

"It's difficult to find someone in the workplace who will give you honest feedback, tell you what your weaknesses are, and how you need to improve," said Holian. "In this program you get that. You also get the opportunity to practice new skills and to learn from your cohort of approximately thirty other fellows."

"This program was an invaluable opportunity for me to develop both personally and professionally," stated Ullman.

After completing the EIGF program, Holian and Ullman are equipped with a leadership skillset that will be utilized and applied to their daily roles at USAMMDA. These skills will not only reflect in their work, but will reflect on the USAMMDA mission.

"It was amazing to see how each of us have grown and changed over the year," added Holian. "For anyone serious about leadership development, this is definitely a program worth considering."

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Last Modified Date: 12-Apr-2016