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Defense Logistics Agency, Awards Tribute to Jeff Shields

Defense Logistics Agency, Richmond, VA, Awards Leadership Tribute to DLA Aviation’s Jeff Shields.

Jeff Shields has spent most of his career demonstrating a strong leadership style known as collaboration.  This particular style demonstrates how to bring everyone, including buyers, contracting officers, product specialists, layers of management, and suppliers together to reach an agreeable decision or process.  Shields leads the Aviation Engines and Airframes Division as Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate at DLA Aviation in Richmond, VA.  He is well known for his collaborative leadership style and recently received the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Leadership Award. 

Shields has worked as a division chief in supplier operations and its predecessor for nearly 20 years and believes that collaboration is central to leadership.  “Generally, a participatory style of leadership leads to a ‘we’ decision that everyone can own and live up to, rather than a ‘me’ decision that is directed,” said Shields.

Shields’s nominator for the award and deputy division chief, Greg Sansone, says that the SOCD’s style is considered transformative.  Collaboration is at the very core of Shields’s leadership, which enables the division to provide world-class support to the warfighter with engine and airframe parts. 

This collaborative approach has had a tremendous impact on procuring parts for the Marine Corps, the Air Force, and other military branches of the U.S. government.  Working together helps create out-of-the-box thinking; encourages creative problem solving; and facilitates tough negotiations to find solutions.  Shields’s team structures contracts to identify and ward off perceived risks and enables them to present terms that all parties can accept.  “It is also a great feeling knowing that what we do, getting parts to warfighters, helps keep our service members and our country safe,” said Shields.

For Shields, the best part of his job is working with new people in the organization, helping them to get a great career start, and watching them advance.  “I try to treat folks right when they work for me,” said Shields.  “Then when they ‘pay it forward’ in their new roles, I hope that I contributed in a small way to their success.”