By Mary Tanzer, IMCOM Mentoring Program
ARLINGTON, Va., -- Participants in the Installation
Management Command Centralized Mentoring Program reconvened in March
for two video teleconferences with J. Randall (Randy) Robinson,
director of Installation Management Command (IMCOM) IMCOM-West and the
IMCOM mentoring champion.
Robinson talked with participants about program activities,
progress and expectations, and discussed individual development plans
and program expectations.
The Centralized Mentoring Program targets employees GS-11
through GS-13 and equivalent, employees to match with volunteer senior
leaders who help groom them to assume positions with higher levels of
Thirty mentee-mentor pairs were selected for the fiscal year
2008 IMCOM Centralized Mentoring Program in October 2007. During a
two-day orientation the mentorship pairs developed agreements and
Mentors and mentees also participate in stretch and one-week
shadow assignments, assess leader skills, and complete online training
courses during the one-year mentorship program.
Robinson agreed that performing shadow and stretch assignments
are extremely valuable experiences and attending training courses is
important. However, he cautioned mentees not to get so caught up in
training that they lose focus of their job and needed contributions.
He emphasized that exceptional day-to-day performance on the job is as
important as attending training.
While training is necessary, accomplishing significant tasks
and achieving results are key, he said, "We need and desire
people who can make a difference." He added that attending
certain senior service schools is critical in developing leadership.
Mentors can assist in reviewing resumes and individual
development plans to identify and modify potential shortfalls.
During the video teleconferences, Robinson asked if anyone's
goals had changed since beginning the mentor program.
"Agreements, action plans and individual development plans
are living documents, and may change over time," he said.
Several mentees described their new career aspirations and
revised goals under the counsel of their mentors.
Robinson recommended a course of action,
"Build a Gant-type chart of what job you are in now and
what job you want to be in when you retire. Fill in all the steps in
between to include training, knowledge, competencies, jobs, and
experience necessary to get to that goal," he said. "Getting
cross-level experience to understand the Army Vision and move the
organization forward are important qualities.
The Army leadership model is of the multifunctional generalist
-- the Army needs people who can lead people, rather than a single
Robinson praised the commitment of the senior leader volunteer
"Your mentees gave great kudos and comments about the
encouragement and examples set by their mentors," he said.
For instance, mentors at Fort Bliss, Texas, who are engaged in
community volunteerism, set the example for a mentee who now is
volunteering at the local boys and girls club, tutoring math and
Another mentee who is in a position to partner with a local
community, works to support the community's infrastructure.
Mentees expressed appreciation to their mentors who advise and
assist in determining the next steps for their mentee's career.
Mentors stay strategically focused, mentor the whole person,
facilitate networking, support individual strengths, provide a broader
view of the organization, and promote career opportunities. Mentors
acknowledged that mentoring is a two-way opportunity in which the
mentor learns from the mentee, as well as the mentee learning from the
Solicitations for the 2009 mentor program are open through June
Robinson encourages employees with leadership characteristics
and those who have done well under the National Security Personnel
System to apply for the fiscal 2009 mentoring opportunity.
For 2009 announcements and applications, and for information
about the Civilian Mentoring Program, visit the Work force Development
Web site at http://www.imcom.army.mil/site/hr/wfdhcmp.asp
or contact the mentoring program manager, Mary Tanzer, (703) 602-5487
or DSN 332-5487. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.