ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The fourth Aberdeen Proving Ground Senior Leadership Cohort graduated 49 participants from is 2013 class on Feb. 14, including three from the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. Steve Norman, Ron Pojunas and Peter Emanuel represented all three ECBC directorates in the cohort program, which was created to build a self-sustaining leadership community among high potential GS-14/15 and equivalent level managers at APG.
The senior leadership program was modeled after the Office of Personnel Management’s Executive Core Qualifications, and was designed to develop leaders as individuals within team and organizational atmospheres in order for the APG community as a whole, better meet the challenges of a changing defense environment.
“Never lose sight of the network you have created and the cohort that has formed here today because that is invaluable,” said Kathryn A. Condon, executive director of the Army National Military Cemeteries. Condon served as the keynote speaker at the ceremony and addressed the graduates with reflections from her own leadership journey.
“What do you do as a leader?” Condon asked. “Leaders make decisions. If you’re afraid to make a decision, then be a manager. Leaders set the standard and then train to that standard and hold people accountable. There are no perfect solutions and there are no perfect answers, but don’t be afraid to act.”
Condon encouraged the cohort graduate to weigh the pros and cons of every decision, assessing what they know verses what they don’t know. People, Passion, Perseverance and Public Service were “the four P’s” Condon used to reflect on her career as she offered graduates a guideline for discovering their own leadership philosophies.
The cohort program included nine learning periods that drew upon leadership concepts and shared knowledge from coaches who have experienced similar work situation on results-driven projects. Acting change agents within the APG community, the participants completed action-based learning that required individuals to expand their comfort zones and adapt to new ways of problem solving through scheduled meetings and daily reflections. The program concluded with executive project briefings to General Officers and Senior Executives reflecting the real return on investment for the organization. The briefings are considered contributions to the on-going strategic mission as well as organizational change initiatives at APG.
Steve Norman is the Chief of the Environmental Monitoring Laboratory branch for the Chemical Biological Application and Risk Reduction(CBARR) Business Unit within ECBC’s Directorate of Program Integration. Norman oversees a branch of 55 chemists, biologists, technicians and administrative staff, and the high throughput, full service laboratory is responsible for detecting chemical and biological targets in various matrices.
Leadership philosophy: Lead by example and provide the proper amount of guidance, training and growth opportunities that help employees reach their full potential. This “Golden Rule” is paramount for interactions with employees, management and customers.
Ron Pojunas is the Associate Director for the Joint and Interagency (JIA) for the Engineering Directorate. His responsibilities include the management and direction of the directorate’s chemical and experimental agents, and toxic industrial chemical testing capabilities. ECBC’s rapid prototype development and fielding Prototype Integration Facility
Leadership philosophy: Embrace a combination of leadership styles—authoritative, affiliative and coaching—to provide an organizational culture that develops people for the future, delivers quality customer service, and grows ECBC’s core competencies.
Peter Emanuel serves as the BioSciences Division Chief within ECBC’s Research & Technology Directorate. As the biological research lead, Emanuel oversees a team of life scientists who work to discover new ways of protecting the Warfighter using biological tools and processes.
Leadership philosophy: Believe in the power of imagination. When an idea springs from the mind of a scientist or engineer, it can become a reality.