The CMLDP: Far Exceeding Expectations

BruceMay 24, 2017

When I applied for the Contract Management Leadership Development Program (CMLDP), my expectations were to learn a few things about leadership in general, but also things that were specific to the contract management space, as well as to make some contacts through networking. Very early on, what I received in return far exceeded my expectations.

Initially, the interaction among the cohort CMLDP members was great. Working with our assigned groups exposed me to professionals from other government agencies and professionals from industry. Hearing the different perspectives on some of our tasks was very educational and eye opening. Immediately, I learned how different mindsets and different processes all work together to accomplish different missions.

Next, I cannot say enough about the program leaders, Russell Blaine and Vida Carroll. They have been instrumental in the success of the program and to each of the cohort members. They are constantly available for advice and assist in keeping us on track to meet requirements and our goals.

Working with my assigned mentors also allowed me to lean on senior professionals who have been in the profession for quite some time, and I was able to interact with individuals who have been through the program recently. Both groups of professionals offered different, but valuable perspectives. The advice I received from my mentors has been fantastic. It has made going through the program a much smoother process. Many other mentors have made themselves available to us, which has also proven to be very valuable.

However, the CMLDP really began exceeding my expectations when I was able to meet my cohort members in person for the first time at NCMA’s Government Contract Management Symposium in December 2016. (I was also able to interact with high-level management professionals at the event.)

My cohort members are very sharp and polished individuals. Being able to interact with them, and meet them face-to-face, strengthened my knowledge, but also expanded my network of people to rely on for advice—if and when necessary. Additionally, we all get along. Many of us have common goals and I can truly say that I have developed lifelong friendships with many of them. Not long after we got to know each other, we were reaching out to each other on personal and professional matters.

Another invaluable aspect of the CMLDP is the relationships I’ve built with very senior contract management professionals. Leaders with high visibility are open to us, and we are welcome to reach out to them for advice. These are the same people I’ve previously only read about, and who have written articles on professional and educational topics I’ve read. Their thoughts on the industry and leadership, as well as their openness, are extraordinarily valuable, and will continue to be so as I navigate my career in this profession.

Overall, the CMLDP is excellent. I can’t say enough positive things about it. I would highly encourage any emerging leaders who are considering a long-term career in contract management to apply.

Learn more about the Contract Management Leadership Development Program here.


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