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An Effective Leadership Development Experience through Modular Skill Based Simulations

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Distance Education and Engineering Workforce Professional Development

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.158.1 - 23.158.18



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Paper Authors


Tim Boyd Northrop Grumman Corporation

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After graduating from the California Institute of Technology in 2006, Tim started working at Northrop Grumman as a Systems Engineer. Since 2006, Boyd has not only been involved in performance analysis and on-orbit sensor characterization but has also managed technical teams as a technical team lead and a deputy Integrated Project Team lead within the SEIT (Systems Engineering Integration and Test) organization. Boyd has presented his work at both academic and industry conferences.
Furthermore, to address his passion for leadership development and community building, he kickstarted a chapter of Connect1NG; a professionally recognized yet non-traditional development program focused on engaging and assimilating new employees to the workplace through leadership development activities and networking. He is currently one of two Western Region liaisons for the program.
Boyd was also selected to be a part of the company’s prestigious LTP (Leadership Training Program) and, just two cycles from graduation, planned and facilitated two recent offsite retreats, events involving a hundred participants, requiring months of detailed planning and acute project management.
An avid nature lover, Boyd’s hobbies include back country camping and hiking as well as learning self reliance in the wild.

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Eric Paul Pearson Northrop Grumman, Electronic Systems

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Eric Pearson is the Director of Cross-Sector Program Initiatives for Northrop Grumman Corporation. His has responsibilities for relationship building and cross culture leadership development. Eric has a BS in Education from Bowie State University and an MS In Technical Management form the Johns Hopkins, Whiting School of Engineering.
Eric is best known for his development and leadership of the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems New Graduate Engineering Rotation Program and the Recent Graduate Leadership Training Program (LTP), having selected and mentored over 650 leaders through the 18 month journey of self-discovery.
In addition Eric has served on several Industry Advisory Boards at North Carolina State University, currently serves as an volunteer Adjunct Professors in the School of Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and recently completed a five-year term on the Board of Directors for the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers.

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Noah Miller Northrop Grumman, Electronic Systems

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Noah Miller – Change Agent, Intrapeneur, and Software Engineer – brings passion to all that he does, especially in fusing technology and people to accomplish the mission. Most recently, “His business awareness and leadership skills have grown in scope as he takes on challenges beyond his cost and schedule objectives that are geared towards helping elicit excellence from others in the company.” He has kicked it into high-gear as an engineer-teacher after graduating from a prestigious experiential leadership training program in the Spring of 2010.

His unique perspectives on leadership come from experiences in both small, private companies with at most ten people to large, public companies that include upwards of fifteen thousand. He has worked as a facilitator, trainer, engineer, mentor, and leader within his ten years of industry experience. As part of a legacy greater than himself, Noah is a true believer in the divine, and seeks strength through diversity in both perspectives and open and honest dialogue.

Noah holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, located in Charlottesville. He has recently relocated from Virginia to Chicago, IL. In his past life, he became an expert in modeling and synthesizing machinery control systems for the Maritime industry and founded the OWNERSHIP process as means to drive culture change from all directions within the organization. He currently works as a senior engineer to develop cutting-edge infrared counter measure systems, striving to use technology as a shield to human life. It’s all about the ends, not the means.

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'An Effective Leadership Development Experience through Modular Skill BasedSimulations' An Effective Leadership Development Experience through Modular Skill BasedSimulationsLeadership development is considered one of the most critical challenges facing manyindustries today. Many commercialized leadership training programs provide classroomtraining, team building opportunities and cross-team projects but few combine theselearning elements by engaging participants in safe environments where they are allowed tolearn and grow in a remote location away from their daily responsibilities. Morespecifically, a safe environment is one in which failure is not only an option by regularlystretching each participant to intense limits but highly embraced when it occurs. TheLeadership Training Program (LTP) at XXX provides this critical component in the formof an experiential education experience where participants have the opportunity tointrospectively assess themselves, and interact with like-minded peers in search of extremeleadership lessons.As alumni of the program, the authors have benefited from the "complete experience,"growing from participants to facilitators, facilitators to coaches, coaches to planners, andplanners to leads. Through the evolution of the program and many lessons learned, theirexperience has helped them identify two main approaches to offsite execution: experientialand skills-based. While each type of offsite includes overlapping spheres of learningdevelopment, such that some of the elements are inseparable, their execution is unique.This paper will focus on an offsite structure that simulates a development assessmentcenter in order to provide participants feedback on a variety of skills required for leadersin today’s world. These offsites provide participants a hands-on, quantitative method oflearning allowing them to assess their own innate abilities through multiple independentsimulations intensely focused on the assessment of a single skill. Effective communication,time constrained library science, mentorship and presentation skills are all integrated asindependent modules carefully blended together to encourage participants to provide atrue assessment of their leadership potential. In addition to self-assessment, the ability toreceive feedback from peers is important and rubrics have proven to be a rigorous,effective technology for accomplishing this goal.This experience provides participants a multitude of opportunities to become intimatelyfamiliar with their innate and developed abilities by providing the necessary support tomaximize their developmental potential. This paper will describe in detail the motivationbehind developing a modular leadership development offsite, the process through which anindependent module can be developed, qualitative results post implementation and thecritical effect team coaches and feedback have on the success of the simulation

Boyd, T., & Pearson, E. P., & Miller, N. (2013, June), An Effective Leadership Development Experience through Modular Skill Based Simulations Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19172

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