“Being Humbled By Failure Is Quite A Valuable Life Lesson” – Sandy Gillespie.
WashingtonExec announced its finalists for the 2021 Chief Officer Awards on April 15th. Excella’s Sandy Gillespie was selected as a Chief Operating Officer (COO) finalist. Leading up to the event, WashingtonExec interviews finalists to learn more about their career moments, primary focus areas, career advice and more.
Continue reading to learn more about Sandy.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I joined Excella at the end of March last year, which meant being greeted upon arrival with numerous pressing challenges, including guiding employees through a transition to fully remote operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic and helping to take Excella to the corporate mid-markets level.
Making sure that we stayed connected as a company, had access to diverse talent and made no layoffs due to pandemic business impacts were all very important. I think I am most proud of being a part of driving cultural awareness in Excella, after a number of very socially unsettling circumstances occurred — helping all Excellians and their clients be supporters and allies for the racial injustice movement.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
I like many leaders have found 2021 a year of challenge, frustration, innovation and exhilaration — now how to plan for “a new normal.” First and foremost is my focus on empowering Excellians through continuing to improve our remote enabled work environment and bringing transparency of operation to inform customer business decisions that benefit transformation and improving mission success.
Being aware of ever evolving changes in the areas of technology, compliance, project management as well as being prepared to take on growth are all areas for increased focus and planning.
What’s one key thing you learned from a failure you had?
In today’s agile world, we hear the term “fail fast” often. While accepting failure can be hard, it is necessary to have had the experience in order to create the critical building blocks needed for the desired outcome(s). Learning from and using these valuable lessons to inform your next experience or decision is critical. Being humbled by failure is quite a valuable life lesson.