Leadership & Talent Development

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Denise Katula, Manager of Leadership and Talent Development

Phone:            908-231-7517
Fax: 908-231-1740
Mail: 20 Grove Street, P.O. Box 3000, Somerville, NJ 08876
Email: katula@co.somerset.nj.us
  • Oversees and leads Somerset County's efforts in developing and implementing a comprehensive leadership and talent development program.
  • Sets the vision, priorities, direction and desired outcome for Somerset County's leadership development programs and initiatives integrating on-the-ground learning, coaching, and cohort-based training programs.
  • Implements the Leadership Somerset adult program which creates an active network of informed, concerned citizens who guide the future of this community; supervises the implementation of the Youth Leadership Somerset program.

To help meet our mission -- a commitment to excellence and innovation in public service, promoting the well-being of all residents and communities by providing effective, efficient, and responsive leadership -- Somerset County government must invest in the development of its employees.

In 2013 the county developed a formal method of leadership training and succession planning.  Reflecting on the  desired qualities of leaders within this organization, we were able to develop a leadership model that serves several purposes:

  • Promotes consistency, fairness, and personal accountability for all county employees while building stronger and consistent leadership skills in our staff.
  • Creates an objective process to identify future leaders and maintains a robust pipeline of strong leaders and talent.
  • Makes it easier to identify and acknowledge high performers, support improvement, and personal development.
  • Creates an objective performance standard for county employees and equips employees with the essential insight, knowledge, and skills to directly improve their leadership effectiveness.
  • Demonstrates the philosophy that we believe in all employees' potential for change and growth.
  • Aids in the recruitment and retention of leaders and talent.

Leadership ModelThe Somerset County Leadership Model consists of four main competency areas.  Each main competency area is further defined by characteristics, attributes, and observable behaviors.  

The Somerset County Leadership Model and the corresponding in-house leadership development training enhances the skills and behaviors we want to see in our employees and ensures that our employees are ready for the responsibility to be leaders in Somerset County government operations.  A development program for future leaders helps create a motivated, engaged, and capable group of employees who are ready to more forward in this organization.

In addition to annual training classes focused on the leadership model competencies, Somerset County offers two main in-house specialized training programs for identified staff:

  • Building Exceptional Leadership Talent (B.E.L.T.) Program - a cohort-based program of nine seminars over a 15-month period for employees who have been determined to be of emerging or high potential for leadership positions.
    • Employees  who complete B.E.L.T. are able to continue their learning and maintain their collaborative working relationships through the Reconnecting, Innovating, and Sustaining Excellence (R.I.S.E. ) program.
  • Building and Advancing Supervisory Excellence (B.A.S.E.) Program - a series of three seminars designed specifically for employees who have been promoted or hired into supervisory positions.

To learn more, please watch our brief video about our talent development initiatives and the leadership model.

Building a workforce that is fully engaged to provide the highest level of public service.