Emerging leaders discover their inner strengths

While each of us has personal strengths that may seem to be clear as glass, we may be shocked or amazed to learn what hidden or less-evident strengths and traits we possess. This was the case for the CPS Energy employees who earlier this year were selected for the Emerging Leaders Cohort (ELC) program, a professional developmental opportunity the company is piloting.

To help them determine their top strengths, weaknesses and behaviors, the 16 ELC program participants completed self-assessment tools commonly used in workplaces: Gallup’s StrengthsFinder and the DiSC personality profile tool.

Today, we kick off a series of blogs featuring one of our ELC groups, Team 1der (pronounced “Wonder”). Following the program’s kickoff in March, the 16 ELC members were equally divided into four groups and came up with their own team names during a team-building exercise. Keep reading to find out what interesting things the four members of Team 1der learned about themselves and what sparked them to apply for the ELC.

Discovering and reaffirming strengths

Communicator. Individualizer. Analytical. Competition. Winning Others Over (WOO). Using the StrengthsFinder tool, Andrew Astudillo learned these are his top strengths.

“I was surprised to find out that not a lot of people have “WOO” and “Competition” in their top five – not sure what it says about me but it’s unique,” he said with a slight chuckle.

Andrew, an engineer in Gas Generation Operations, who considers himself to be outgoing, was also surprised to learn — through the DiSC assessment — that his behavioral style is “Supporting” and “Influential,” which generally signifies someone with an introverted, reserved personality. For those not familiar with the tool, DiSC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness.

While Andrew was a little astounded by what the self-assessments revealed about his personality, Roy Cervantes felt his assessment results affirmed his strengths and passions.

The StrengthsFinder tool revealed “Ideation” as one of Roy’s leading strengths. Those with this strength love ideas and can find a way to connect seemingly unrelated ideas.

“Before taking the assessment, I knew I had this strength but didn’t know what it was technically called,” said Roy, a Financial Services Analyst in Corporate Finance Analytics, who loves creating products, models and presentations for his area. “When it comes to Finance, the analytical part can be mundane, but I enjoy coming up with ways to creatively communicate and convey results in presentations.”

Roy also shared that through his participation in the ELC program, he’s learned that he’s undoubtedly working in the career field of his dreams.

“Finance is my passion. I would love to be a leader in the Treasury area but more importantly pay it forward for the next generation, the next employees who come in and want to be leaders – share with them everything I’ve learned in my career.”

Answering when opportunities knock

It’s important that our company develop employees to be future leaders, helping ensure we have a pipeline of talent ready to successfully navigate and lead us in the ever-evolving energy industry. While CPS Energy offers various training and developmental opportunities for employees, the ELC initiative garnered a lot of interest with nearly 120 employees across the company applying.

“I felt it would be beneficial to my personal growth, and to help me progress in the company and future positions,” said Harold Lambert, a Journeyman Mechanic in Fleet Operations Safety.

Harold’s coworkers are benefiting from his experience on the ELC as well. He’s been sharing with them everything he’s learned.

Similarly, Jose Reyes, a Leak Crew Foreman in Gas Operations & Construction, said the ELC was the opportunity he was looking for to grow professionally.

“If you’re not looking for that [professional growth] then you’re going to stay stagnant,” said Jose, adding that he saw the ELC as “something that was going to change my perspective on my career, as well as my outlook as an employee.”

All 16 participants have been deeply immersed in the ELC program since its kickoff. In addition to gaining a greater awareness about themselves, they’ve engaged in networking activities to get to know one another better; visited with our company’s leaders; gone on tours to our company’s various sites to learn more about what other areas do; participated in mentoring sessions; and much more. The nine-month program will culminate in a graduation ceremony for the participants in November, and at the event, each team will present its capstone project to senior leaders. Through the capstone project, the teams are developing comprehensive strategies for solving actual organizational issues.

Stay tuned to our Newsroom, where we’ll continue our ELC series and feature the three other teams.

Pam Maris

Pam is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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