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Crossroads of the Marine Corps

MCBQ personnel become better leaders

2 Apr 2015 | John Hollis Marine Corps Base Quantico

Making sure your employees are involved is one thing, but it’s another matter entirely to see to it they are actively engaged, said J.A. Rodriguez Jr.

Rodriguez, who serves as a mentor to the Voluntary Protection Programs that promote safety aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, had safety in mind when he used a March 26 workshop at the Clubs at Quantico to challenge the roughly 25 supervisors from among base facilities and safety communities to do just that. An active group of employees is not only happier, but decidedly more productive and less prone to accidents, Rodriguez said, citing data from various studies.

“Being involved is OK,” said Rodriguez, who is Raytheon’s senior manager for Environmental, Health and Safety. “Being engaged is where it’s at. It’s the difference between being good and being great.”

But getting to that point can be tricky at times, as Rodriguez noted, because of preconceived notions we all have individual experiences that shape our perspectives. His three-hour class called “Pyramid of Purpose: A Pathway to Success” spelled out the various potential pitfalls along the way to the desired creation of common causes that will help everybody involved achieve their personal and professional goals.

It is imperative to be aware that it is our unique perspectives that influence our priorities which, in turn, affect our behavior, he said.

Our behavior plays a direct role in the final outcome of any endeavor, so being mindful of someone else’s perspective is critical in keeping employees actively engaged and infused with energy by feeling as if they have skin in the game.

That holds particularly true with issues of safety, Rodriguez said.

“Safety is a two-way conversation,” he said.

Rodriguez cited a number of other equally important factors to making sure employees remain actively engaged at work. Personal involvement by leadership, a shared common cause, the empowering of employees and effective communication were among the other necessary components.

“It’s all important,” Rodriguez said. “Like any fine-tuned machine, if they’re not all working, it’s not a fine-tuned machine.”

His message resonated early on with Terry Britt, head of supply for G3, Quantico.

“This was good stuff,” he said. “These lessons are going to be beneficial to me.”

— Writer:

Marine Corps Base Quantico