In recognition of Edgewood Chemical Biological Center's October Leadership Month, a special blog series featuring ECBC employee responses on what it takes to be an effective leader will be featured on the blog throughout the month of October. The tenth part in this blog series features Kevin Wallace, Branch Chief of Technology and Systems Integration in ECBC's Advanced Design and Manufacturing Division.
As I’ve progressed through my career at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, I’ve been able to experience practically every phase of a civilian employee, from high school apprentice through senior-level supervisor. Through much formal and informal mentorship, I’ve absorbed a tremendous amount of hands-on leadership “how to.” Yet, in all honesty, I believe my abilities as a successful senior leader were instilled well before my time as an employee at ECBC.
My father worked for the Army and routinely allowed me to tag along on post with him, showing me the cool “tech things.” Over the course of many years, I was not only exposed to computers, vehicles and things that go “boom,” I was also able to observe the working relationships my father had with his personnel as a civilian Army leader. I came to realize, through my father’s actions, that there are select traits a successful leader should always possess and demonstrate: dedication, initiative and vision.
Dedication, in this context, is very broad. A leader must be dedicated to their organization and its goals, their personnel and their customers. What makes great leaders is the ability to balance all of these and create a synergistic environment. A strong dedication to not only meet but exceed expectations has been vital to my success. I know what I do plays a part in protecting our Nation and the Warfighter; I can’t think of many other things that invoke such a strong feeling of dedication.
I feel initiative and vision are closely related. During my career, especially as a leader, I have established a broad vision while maintaining a local focus. Through various initiatives I have expanded the influence of our organization, creating fantastic opportunities. Leaders who demonstrate initiative and continue to look forward develop an exciting and engaging work environment; an environment where their actions become contagious and the leaders of tomorrow are born.Kevin is the Branch Chief of Technology and Systems Integration in ECBC's Advanced Design and Manufacturing Division. He earned his Bachelors degree from the Universty of Maryland in 1998 and his Masters in Project Management from Naval Postgradaute School in 2010.