BY LT. CMDR CARL PENNYCOOKE, Operations officer, NAVSUP Business Systems Center
Mentoring without End (MWE) is designed to enhance personal and professional growth for NAVSUP Business Systems Center (BSC) junior officers (JOs).
During the first phase of MWE, we focused primarily on senior military leaders as guest speakers. Throughout the second phase, we had a blend of both military leaders and members of the senior executive service as guest speakers, who delivered diverse perspectives in regards to leadership and mentorship.
We had the pleasure of hosting the following guest speakers: Mr. Kurt Wendelken, assistant commander for Supply Chain Technology/Systems Integration (N2/N6), NAVSUP; Ms. Sandra Jumper, counsel,
Office of General Counsel (NOGC), NAVSUP; Ms. Jane McMullen, assistant commander for Corporate Operations (N1N5), NAVSUP; Mr. Bill Bickert, assistant commander for Supply Chain Management Policy and Performance (N4), NAVSUP; Capt. Gene Cash, deputy assistant commander for Supply Chain Technology/Systems Integration (N2/N6), NAVSUP; and Cmdr. Daryl Wilson, deputy director of Fleet Support Division (N43), NAVSUP. Mentors, have you contacted your mentees lately? They would love to hear from you. Mentoring is about relationship building, and although it is the responsibility of mentees to be the primary drivers of the construction of the relationship; it is also important to reach out to mentees, especially if there has been a gap in communication.
Additionally, I believe that we should all have mentors and mentees, not just within the Navy or Supply Corps, but also from other branches of service, and within other communities to include, but not limited to, the Department of Defense civilian population.
“Mentoring is a key component of a successful career and I was very lucky (and am grateful) to have found mentors who helped me develop as a leader. Through mentoring, I was able to receive honest and open feedback about my weaknesses, but also my potential. I think that we often underestimate our personal capabilities and my mentors challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and reach for things that I did not think possible. I would not be where I am today without them.”
–Mr. Kurt Wendelken
“Our business as supply chain managers for the Navy is among the most complex in the world. No one has all the answers, or the insights regarding the best path forward for achieving professional success. It’s critical for officers to continually solicit advice, council, and feedback from more seasoned leaders that often are wearing scars from decisions from their past. Find a few that you are comfortable confiding with, and then lean on them and learn from them in order to make more informed work-life decisions”
–Mr. Bill Bickert
“Mentorship is an active iterative relationship that helps identify opportunities, goals and paths to achieve them. This relationship should be constantly cultivated between both mentor and mentee.”
– Cmdr. Daryl Wilson
“What you want in a mentor is someone who truly cares for you and who will look after your interests and not just their own. When you do come across the right person to mentor you, start by showing them that the time they spend with you is worthwhile.” –Vivek Wadhwa
“Without a mentor in life, one can easily succumb to folly. Without a mentor in life, one can easily become self-centered, capricious and arrogant.” –Anonymous
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” –Steven Spielberg