Buffalo District’s own Regulatory biologist, Peter Krakowiak was selected for the inaugural class of the Regulatory Strong Leaders Program (SLP), created to help develop future leaders within the Regulatory Program by providing a broad approach to effective leadership.
Only eight participants were selected for the SLP, one participant was selected to represent each division, and Krakowiak was selected to represent the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recognizes the value in its employees and their development. Peter’s selection is an honor for the Branch and the District,” said Diane Kozlowski, Corps of Engineers Buffalo District, Regulatory Branch Chief. “We know this program will make a difference in his career, create a stronger leader in our district, and possibly define efficiencies for the national Regulatory program.”
The SLP is a new leadership opportunity offered this year by the Corps’ Headquarters (HQ) Office. The goal of the program is to prepare non-supervisory Regulatory staff for real-world leadership scenarios in Regulatory and beyond. The program requires attendance at four, week-long seminars, briefings following each seminar, completion of a group project, shadowing, mentoring, journaling, reading assignments, and self-awareness assessments.
Two of the week-long seminars have taken place so far, one in May at the HQ Office in Washington D.C. and one in July at the Los Angeles District Office.
The first seminar focused on self-awareness, including individual and team-leading strengths, communication style, and behavior in conflict. The second seminar shifted the focus to learning how leadership traits contribute to the Corps of Engineers’ mission and building a strong organization, through developing others.
“Self-awareness, including being aware of how one’s actions are perceived by others greatly influences the effectiveness of our leaders,” said Krakowiak. “After completing the self-assessments, I have tried to incorporate some of the key takeaways into my role as a team leader and hopefully it will result in improvements to my overall leadership skills.”
Krakowiak is part of a team focusing on the development of a Strategic Communications Plan for Regulatory. The communications plan will help identify strengths and weaknesses within the Regulatory Program and offer recommendations on ways to improve the communication skills of regulators across the country.
“Communication is a huge part of what we do as Regulatory Project Managers. We interact with the general public, other agency partners, as well as other parts of the Corps, on a daily basis, ,” said Krakowiak. “The goal of our project is to identify areas of improvement, recommend possible action items, and then through implementation, either at the HQ or Division/District level, assist Regulators across the nation communicate more effectively. We surveyed many regulators across the country and the greatest need that was identified was overwhelmingly the need for additional communications training.”
The SLP participants will attend the National Regulatory Conference in October to present on the status of their group projects and then will attend a final seminar at HQ in January 2020 to present their final projects.
The Corps of Engineers is Building Strong leaders to effectively deliver the mission for our Nation.