Lessons from the market trenches

Nick Wakeman

Network administrators usually spend their time concerned with routers, PCs and servers. Operating a chainsaw? Cutting down trees? That's not part of the job description.

But when a hurricane is bearing down on you, you have to improvise, especially when your customer is the Navy Enterprise Business Solutions Office.

Jim Kasler, Computer Sciences Corp.'s manager for the office, had some of his employees working on trees and others spreading tarps while the rest of the team kept the computer system running during last year's Hurricane Ivan.

Kasler's story is just one of several in this issue's coverage of Washington Technology's Government Channel Leaders. Culled from a group of nominations from our readers, we've named 15 people who best exemplify the partnership among government, contractors and vendors.

Company size and focus are no criteria for leadership. Our list includes large companies such as Kasler's, as well as midsize and small companies. Resellers are represented as well as systems integrators and a software developer. The characteristic shared by the leaders we salute is an acute awareness of the importance -- greater now than ever -- of public-private partnerships for winning and keeping business in today's government marketplace.

A common thread running through these partnerships is a focus on customer service. This can take many shapes: finding ways to improve communications, introducing new technologies or helping agencies cope with budget and procurement changes.

Staff Writer Doug Beizer's cover story about these able competitors touches on the leadership qualities that each exemplifies as well as the lessons that their experiences can teach. It shouldn't be hard to find something in their stories that will help each of us become a better leader, too.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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