NAWCAD Lakehurst recognizes its Mentor of the Year
Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst recognized its senior engineering advisor for his dedication to helping develop the next generation of naval aviation leaders during a ceremony on the Lakehurst side of base Jan. 31.
Peter Worley, senior engineering advisor for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Support Equipment (SE) and Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) engineering department, was named the 2018 Mentor of the Year for NAWCAD Lakehurst.
Worley was among 18 Lakehurst employees nominated for the site’s Mentor of the Year Award, which is part of an annual recognition event hosted by the NAVAIR Mentoring Program.
"Throughout his nearly 40-year-career with NAVAIR, Pete has exemplified what it means to be a dedicated mentor by using his organizational knowledge and leadership experience to develop the careers of others,” said Kathleen P. Donnelly, NAVAIR SE and ALRE department director. “He is truly deserving of this award and I thank him for doing his part to foster a culture of knowledge-sharing and inclusion here at Lakehurst."
Worley has held positions in both engineering and program management with NAVAIR. He mentors approximately 20 employees in either a formal mentorship through the NAVAIR Mentoring Program or informally on an as-needed basis.
“I feel like I’m playing hooky, the government is giving me an hour to sit and chat with some very sharp, young people and I learn probably as much from them about what’s going on in the organization, about what they’re doing and where they want to go in their career,” Worley said. “I try to explain to them what I have done, where I came from and what I did as I progressed through the ranks.”
Before Worley starts a mentoring relationship he will often recommend his potential mentee talk to two or three other mentors in order to find a perfect fit, because as he says, a mentoring relationship is all about trust.
“Your mentor is there to provide you the unvarnished truth but that’s only if you’ve got a good relationship with your mentor,” Worley said. “Having someone you can bear your soul to, somebody to help work something through is critical. It’s good to have somebody for those times.”
Worley starts his mentoring by helping his mentee create and refine his or her Individual Development Plan with a focus on aligning to command priorities and Executive Core Qualifications.
“He is always more than willing to sit down with any employee, and especially his mentees, to create and reinforce a positive culture to meet the organizational strategic goals and objectives,” said Vik Gumber, one of Worley’s mentees who nominated him for the award. “He is always prepared to help the mentee through difficult situations and works with them to develop his/her self-confidence.”
Worley watches out for development opportunities for his mentees within NAVAIR, whether it’s through a job rotation, shadowing assignment, networking opportunity or leadership training. He is a supporter of NAVAIR’s Leadership Development Programs and has reviewed more than 50 employees’ leadership program applications in order to help them increase their chances of being accepted.
“Peter does not take the responsibility of a mentor lightly,” Gumber said. “He feels invested in the success of the mentee. He is very knowledgeable, compassionate and possesses the attributes of a good teacher and trainer.”
Worley encourages his fellow employees to be a mentor, not only because it’s a characteristic of an effective leader, but because it’s rewarding to make a positive impact on employees’ careers.
“I’ve been doing it a long time, and I haven’t been doing it for the recognition,” Worley said. “It’s just one of those things that it is nice to be recognized for working with people. It’s very rewarding and it means a lot to me to see them get the job they wanted and do well.”