Special Report | Channel leaders: Keep a sense of humor
Jerold Clark Jr., senior group manager for operational intelligence, Anteon International Corp.
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Jun 23, 2006
Jerold Clark Jr. holds a tough job overseeing recruitment of military personnel with some of the most difficult-to-find skills in the nation's intelligence community: interrogation and counterintelligence.
As a former Army sergeant and now as senior group manager of operational intelligence for Anteon International Corp.'s Fort Huachuca training facility in Arizona, Clark knows the importance of humor in helping to smooth the rough patches encountered in dealing with more than 200 instructors and thousands of soldiers. Anteon this month became part of General Dynamics Corp.
"Have a sense of humor," Clark said in describing leadership qualities. "Things can sometimes get too serious, too quickly, and that creates undue stress."
From his first job delivering newspapers in Portland, Ore., Clark rose to command sergeant major in the Army. Retiring in 1998, he began working at Fort Huachuca as a field services engineer. In 2000, he was hired by Sherikon Corp., which Anteon acquired in 2001. Clark's Army experience in electronic maintenance enabled him to serve as systems analyst, training specialist for unmanned aircraft systems and site lead for maintenance of constructive training devices before being promoted in December 2004 to group manager.
"Jerry is directly responsible for the largest task group at Fort Huachuca, valued at over $24 million in annual revenue," said Howard Phelps, group vice president for Anteon's Fort Huachuca operations. Clark has helped develop a process to sustain recruitment levels that has helped Anteon's training unit grow from 60 people two years ago to 180 today, Phelps said.
At Fort Huachuca, Clark's group specializes in hiring interrogation and counterintelligence personnel for counterterrorism. His efforts have helped the Army's Intelligence Center and School train more than 3,000 soldiers for deployment to commanders around the world.
When the intelligence school was downsizing, Clark created a comprehensive plan to keep the most qualified training personnel on board and a transition plan for the rest, with no loss in training time or class starts. Anteon's unit was able to maintain 95 percent of its employees, Phelps said.
"Jerry's efforts and understanding of the customer's requirements and his ability to effectively manage change provided for mission success with very little personnel turbulence," Phelps said.
Asked about his leadership style, Clark said he is surrounded by great leaders from whom he has learned, and he has adopted many of their qualities.
"Care about those around you and how they are doing. Be fair but firm," Clark said. "Praise good work, and let people know when they are doing a good job as quickly as letting them know they need to improve."
And one more thing: "Let bygones be bygones ? give everyone a second chance," he said.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.