I have been a part of government contracting in one way or another for my entire career spanning over 12 years at this point (still “young” by many contractor or agency standards). For the past year and a half I have come to know and appreciate NCMA. Today I finished day one of the Government Contract Management Conference (GCMC), and have been thoroughly impressed on another level. This is my third “big” NCMA event including World Congress 2011 and 2012.
This time around, I found myself wanting to hear the general sessions. Normally, I am a breakout session kind of guy, but with Ted Leonsis as the first speaker out of the gate, I was enthralled. I have never really been a hockey or basketball fan, but I have heard Mr. Leonsis on local radio stations during some of my long commutes in and around the DC area and became his fan long ago (also ushering in a brief stint as a hockey fan rooting for the Caps). Today’s speech left me following him on Twitter, looking up his blog, reading his “bucket list”, and putting his book in my cart on Amazon (just haven’t gotten around to clicking purchase YET).
I wasn’t sure how this keynote speaker would apply to Gov Con, but I knew it would at least apply to me, so I took a seat and was lead on a journey of “double bottom lines” and “happiness.” I think you probably had to be there ot get the real feel for what these two items were, but at least I can provide bullet points to Ted’s “5 Keys to Happiness and Successful Leadership.” You are reaching toward self-actualization when these things are true of yourself:
1 – You are an active participant in multiple organizations (communities of interest).
2 – You have a high level of personal empathy.
3 – You have a high level of personal expression.
4 – You show gratitude by volunteering and giving back.
5 – You are in pursuit of a higher calling.
There are intricacies to each of these points, but take from the list what you will – I think that is the main purpose. My only regret is not getting Mr. Leonsis to sign something for me…
Then, there was the fireside chat. Like another ray of sunshine on the otherwise cold day, the fireside chat provided a warmth and barebones soundbites to take home and put on the wall. I would like to say a personal thank you to Deidre Lee who gave me such nuggets as (sorry if I paraphrase):
“Acquisition should not just be about acquiring, there is a management aspect too!”
“You wouldn’t have a contractor work on your home without talking to them first. Why would you spend taxpayer dollars without talking to government contractors?”
“Talk it out now or hash it out in court later.”
“The process sometimes becomes more valuable than the results in government contracting.”
I can’t wait for tomorrow and will be sure to break out in a future blog about what I have heard is the MAJOR underpinning of a lot of frustration and confusion from the people I have talked to so far at the Wolters Kluwer exhibition booth – subcontracting and subcontract management. (Surprised?)