Podcast: Embracing change and creating clarity

Developing future leaders, building successful teams and inspiring excellence across an organization, in this episode of Talent10X we explore how to embrace change and move forward. This episode features a conversation between Talent Management’s Eliana Lester and Mark Lewis, head of learning and talent management at Delek US Holdings.

Developing future leaders, building successful teams and inspiring excellence across an organization, in this episode of Talent10X we explore how to embrace change and move forward. This episode features a conversation between Talent Management’s Eliana Lester and Mark Lewis, head of learning and talent management at Delek US Holdings.

The following is an excerpt from Talent Management’s podcast, Talent10x. To hear the full conversation, including Lewis’ thoughts on critical skills, remote work and current trends in talent management click here.

Eliana Lester: Hello and welcome to the Talent Management podcast, Talent10x. I’m Ellie Lester, an editorial intern here at Talent Management. For the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure of learning from distinguished leaders in Talent Management and HR who have endless insights and lessons to share from their time in the industry and who have made incredible contributions to the world of Talent Management.

Today, I get to speak with Mark Lewis, senior director of learning and talent management at Delek US. From all of us here at Talent Management, thank you so much for joining us for this episode of Talent10x. Please be sure to also check out Voices of CLO, the podcast over at our sister publication, Chief Learning Officer.

Well, thank you so much, Mark, for joining me and for making the time welcome. I’m really excited to focus on our conversation today and on many of your successes as a people leader, inspiring organizational excellence through the development of transformative talent strategies and effective leadership training.

But before we focus on your skill for developing future leaders and building successful teams, I would love to hear about your career journey and your current role. I understand that after joining Delek in April of 2020 as the Senior Director of L&D, you made incredible strides in advancing to the head of talent management position in February of 2021.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you navigated to where you are today in your career? And just a little more about the work that you’re doing at Delek. 

Mark Lewis: Sure. So, I joined the corporate world in 2015 after spending over 24 years as an active duty intelligence officer in the US Air Force.

And when I think back about my military service, really what it prepared me for was all things around culture, you know, being able to assimilate to many different types of culture. Obviously, the military is well-known for leadership. But then also the one thing that the military taught me is really how to operate in a very, you know, VUCA world.

So whether that’s, you know, vague, ambiguous, you know. All those different things that, you know, the corporate world is the military really prepared me for. So when I joined Delek in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, which I don’t recommend anybody do for that particular matter, I was initially brought in to be the head of learning and development.

At that time, Delek was not really good at all things learning and development, and so they wanted to bring in a leader who could actually build out a learning and development strategy. Start bringing together and creating synergies within the learning and development function. So I did that for about a year, and as I was taking on that task of really building out that holistic strategy, starting to align the different cats and dogs within the learning and development family, started pulling all those different entities together, it really became apparent that there was a bigger need for more of an overall holistic talent management function.

So there was a talent management leader prior to my arrival. And not necessarily sure what the overall talent strategy was. But I recognized early on that learning and development was a critical pillar in our talent management strategy. And so, just in coordination and collaboration with my leadership, I was able to start putting together really more of an integrated talent management team.

We started out very slowly, just kind of brought in what we were working on initially at that time was our career management framework. And then, once we actually launched and got that project on the ground, the next step was to bring in talent acquisition. And so once I had talent acquisition, I already had career management and started bringing in performance management.

And the next thing you know, I’m a full-up talent management leader. So here we are three years later. 

To hear the full conversation, including Lewis’ thoughts on critical skills, remote work and current trends click here. This transcript has been edited and cut for clarity by Talent Management’s associate editor, Calvin Coffee.