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The Benefits of a Leadership Development Program

Today's blog features guest writer, Marc Kuttler, who is a Process and Materials Manager at Owens Corning Science & Technology in Granville, Ohio.

Why become part of a Leadership Development Program when you can go straight into a ‘real job'? You can see graduation in your headlights. It's the day you've been working towards for many years. Excitement builds as you prepare for the next phase of your life. You are ready to get down to work and start making good money instead of just getting by. It's going to be great!

But what if it's not? What if that ‘perfect' job you have waiting for you is not your life's calling? What if you don't like it at all - not the responsibilities, the people, the location? Obviously, it's not the start you had planned.

While this does not happen often, it can and does happen. And it's not your fault. In fact, it is likely not anyone's fault. So how do you minimize the risk? Are there ways to ‘test drive' your career before settling in on a path? With Leadership Development Programs there is. At Owens Corning we offer three separate and distinct Development Programs created to help the new employee make significant contributions while continuing to figure out their professional calling. You get to participate in multiple and differing assignments before having to settle on ‘the one'. While every company will run their program differently, the overall goals and benefits from these programs are similar.

Owens Corning Development Programs consist of the following elements:

  1. Science and Technology Development Program - Designed for the advance degreed graduate with desires to bring science and innovation together to invent something new to the world. A program that involves three one year assignments in three distinctly different businesses.

  2. Operations Development Program - A two year program focused on manufacturing excellence and training for advancement. The assignment is at one of our many manufacturing sites around North America allowing the employee to experience firsthand the fundamentals of production.

  3. Engineering Development Program - A one year program in which you contribute within our manufacturing operations by providing technical support on multiple assignments while building technical and leadership skills.

Whichever you choose, Development Programs allow you to start your career while giving you additional time to decide what your career path actually will be. And regardless of the program you choose, you will be mentored and coached by experienced and senior level professionals, providing you the best chance for success.

Each program is structured to enable the employee the opportunity to contribute via work or projects which are defined with a beginning and end, thus enabling clean transitions. Many times the work is part of a larger program but the technical efforts remains unique and designed for growth and value creation. Add to this the chance to network with senior leaders and you have created personal value and potential future opportunity which may be perfect for you.

At the conclusion of the program, the employee enjoys benefits which could be superior to the individual who goes directly into their professional career choice.

  • You have had exposure to significant businesses within a global organization.

  • You have been challenged with meaningful work, while being mentored and guided by senior leadership and technical staff.

  • Your contributions make a difference in programs which are fundamental to core businesses.

  • Your personal exposure is high while networking with upper levels of management.

  • You are now much more prepared to decide what you would like to do with the rest of your professional career.

Is a Development Program for you? Perhaps not. But why wouldn't you want choices when that amazing opportunity is available to you? It may just very well be the foundation which the rest of your career builds on...

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go."

-Dr. Seuss

Authored by an ECS guest.