HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Just like every Soldier has their story, so does every Army civilian.

Lisha Adams, Army Materiel Command's executive deputy to the commanding general, joined four other senior civilians in sharing their career journeys on a "Civilian Leadership Development" panel during the 2017 AUSA Global Force Symposium, March 13.

Adams began her career as a GS-3 more than 30 years ago. Today, she serves as AMC's most senior civilian for more than 60,000 employees.

"I never set out to be a senior executive service; I set out to be able to influence, and to influence at greater levels," said Adams.

Diane Randon, a senior civilian executive performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs, talked about several qualities of a good leader.

"As a civilian senior leader, show up every day in a manner to project whatever it is that you want your folks to see," Randon said. "That means coming in with the right attitude, taking the tough assignments and being open to opportunities."

Randon encouraged leaders to be mentors and coaches.

Civilians account for 95 percent of the Army Materiel Command's workforce. For that reason, the organization's leaders continuously focus on developing civilian paths through training, informational town halls and developmental assignments.

Adams stressed that keeping good people engaged and on the team is a leader's most important task, and related it to the Army Materiel Command workforce.

She noted that despite the challenges of downsizing, budget reduction, threats of sequestration and a hiring freeze, the Army Materiel Command workforce continues to remain focused on its number one priority of supporting the warfighter.

Setting priorities, a positive attitude, maintaining significance in life, professional and personal growth, and serving others were traits and actions that helped Adams along in her career, she said.

"I've had a great career, but it didn't always go the way I thought it should, and if it weren't for those things that I've focused on, I wouldn't be where I am today," Adams said.

Other panelists included Gwendolyn DeFilippi, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary of the Army; Chris Lowman, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Acquisition, Logistics and Technology; and John Nerger, Association of the United States Army's Civilian Advisory Committee.


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