CPS Energy understands the importance and value of growing and developing its people. Our team members are the cornerstone of our utility, and we want them to learn and grow with us. We offer a robust training and development program for all employees to help them expand their skill sets and gain new knowledge.
It’s also important we develop our team members to be future leaders and to have a pipeline of talent ready to successfully lead our ever-evolving energy industry. To prepare employees for future leadership roles, we’re piloting a new initiative called the Emerging Leaders Cohort (ELC). We kicked off this nine-month leadership development program today for 16 employees from across our Company. They were joined at the kickoff by their supervisors, other leaders from throughout the organization, as well as key employees who will be assisting them over the course of the program.
At the kickoff, Kim Gutierrez, a member of the ELC’s steering committee and an employee development analyst in Leadership Development, led the cohort in a short engaging exercise so they could learn about others in the room and begin building and developing relationships. They also heard from the ELC’s executive sponsors and chief sponsor, respectively: Lisa Lewis, Vice President of People & Culture; Richard Medina, Vice President of Grid Transformation & Engineering; and Fred Bonewell, Chief Security, Safety & Gas Operations Officer.
Each of the sponsors shared with the cohort their personal and career experiences and encouraged them to continue to seek out and take advantage of opportunities that arise. “Say ‘Yes,’” Lisa Lewis told the program participants. “You’ve done it once already by throwing your name in the hat for this developmental opportunity. … All of you are incredible. You belong here.”
“Don’t stay stagnant and stand still,” Fred added. “Look for opportunities and when they come, take advantage of them. Lean in to those opportunities. Lean in. Don’t be afraid. Remain confident.” He also shared with them a couple of key takeaways from one of his favorite books, which he gifted to each of the cohorts, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. Those takeaways were: 1) Have an emotional bank account, meaning you’re making deposits in the account when you do good deeds, and while it’s OK to make a withdrawal now and then, such as when you make a mistake, you don’t want to be over-drafted; and 2) Sharpen the saw, meaning you can’t stay stagnant, and you need to always look at how you can get better.
While the ELC participants may not yet be ready to chop down a forest, it was apparent that they’re eager to sharpen their saws.
For the next nine months, they’ll be building their understanding of our Company, customers and community, and their skills for contributing to our organization. Among other activities and developmental opportunities, they’ll attend monthly sessions with our Company’s leaders, receive professional coaching support and participate in career conversations, and visit our Company’s work sites to get a more in-depth understanding of what goes in other areas of the organization.
They’ll also work in teams on a capstone project, in which they’ll develop and present to senior leaders comprehensive strategies to solve actual organizational issues.
Dena De La Fuente, a Fleet Operations Coordinator selected for the ELC, noted that she is looking forward to the opportunity to refine her leadership skills, meet with our organization’s leaders, and network and build relationships with others from across the company.
Here is the listing of our employees participating in the ELC:
Congrats to each of these team members for their interest in and selection for this new leadership developmental opportunity. These 16 employees were selected from nearly 120 applicants across CPS Energy.
Stay tuned to our Newsroom, where we’ll be posting updates on their progress in the program.