Campus News

Mentoring for Operational Success graduates first cohort

The inaugural Mentoring for Operational Success cohort celebrated its final session at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on Nov. 10. The leadership program was developed to support Finance and Administration staff. (Submitted photo)

Finance and Administration staff participate in leadership training

The University of Georgia Finance and Administration celebrated the first participants to complete the Mentoring for Operational Success (MOS) course at a closing session on Nov. 10.

“I’m really proud of the work our first group of leaders put into making this course a success,” said Adam Fouche, director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Insurance and Claims Management.

Fouche, who developed and leads MOS, adapted the curriculum from the leadership model taught at the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point.

“The course had a huge impact on the trajectory of my leadership journey when I went through an earlier version 15 years ago. I hope it has the same kind of positive impact on the participants’ leadership,” he said.

The MOS program explores various human behavior theories through formal instruction, classroom discussions, case studies and personal reflections. The goal of the program is to help participants become more effective leaders who are better equipped to meet their own needs and the needs of their teams.

Twenty-eight participants from various Finance and Administration units concluded the course with group presentations summarizing what they had learned. While the course focused largely on theory and case studies, the takeaways for many participants were far from hypothetical.

“With every chapter and every different part of the program that we did, I walked away with something that I could come back to my unit and implement,” said Donna Francis, director of human resources for Auxiliary Services.

Francis oversees six staff members, each specialized in a different skill. She hopes to use what she learned in MOS to lead cross-functional training among her team.

“The topic on teams was one of the biggest for me. It was something that I think I needed,” she said. “I think far too long I’ve operated independently when I really enjoy not to. That was a big takeaway for me to learn to navigate as a leader.”

Joel Dickerson, an off-campus zone manager with the Facilities Management Division, said MOS emphasized the value of self-awareness and empathy.

“Becoming more understanding and more open to other people’s perspectives is always a skill that needs to be improved,” Dickerson said. “This class gave me some tools to help see other people’s perspectives and see voids in my own that I hadn’t noticed before.”

Participants met for three consecutive days each month from August to November. Topics covered included group development, stress management and leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion, among others. After completing the course, participants can take part in coaching sessions to help integrate the material into their personal and work lives.

“Adam has done an incredible job tailoring leadership training for Finance and Administration through the MOS program,” said Ryan Nesbit, vice president for finance and administration. “I hope participants come away with a much better understanding of themselves and their leadership styles, as well as how they can best support their respective teams.”

Thirty new Finance and Administration staff members will participate in the second cohort beginning in March.

“This can really change the way we work,” said Dickerson. “It can change the way we view our work life. And it’s fun.”