On the last day of Women’s History Month, we would like to share a few excerpts from our M9 Women in Leadership Panel Discussion held with the M9 team including our wonderful women leader panelists – Ethel Formichelli, SVP, Operations; Shannon Hattersley, SVP, Strategy and BD; and Kristin Hall, Director, Talent Acquisition.
How did you get into your first leadership position? What was it?
Shannon always thought she would be a teacher, but while she was in France teaching English as a second language, she realized she didn’t really know what she wanted to be when she grew up. Shortly after coming back to the United States, she had a chance meeting with another JMU alumni. He happened to be a Partner at Booz Allen. After much discussion, he offered her a job as an analyst–and the rest is history! Shannon worked her way into a leadership position. She was always the first to volunteer to fix problems, and eventually became a task lead.
Kristin joined the Army National Guard when she was 17 years old and transferred to active duty three years later. Once she was promoted to Sergeant, Kristin was appointed over a squad of seven Soldiers. She deployed to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and was promoted to Staff Sergeant soon thereafter. Since separating from the Army, Kristin has continued her career and development as a leader. She is currently serving as M9’s Director of Talent Acquisition.
Ethel was a regional restaurant manager for a family in NY. She worked long, crazy hours. She was offered an opportunity to come work at M9 Solutions. Wanting to expand her career and experience, she joined M9 and never looked back. Ethel approached the management team about areas for improvement she saw within the processes and procedures and worked with management in her first leadership position as the operations manager. She has continued to work within the operations of M9 and is currently the SVP of Operations.
What advice would you give younger women who are looking to get into leadership?
Ethel: It is a lot of hard work, determination, and sometimes failure. The key is to learn from your mistakes and to constantly seek out improvements and to learn from the people around you, including those that work for you.
Shannon: Leadership is hard. Need to have servant mindset. It is about making tough decisions, instilling fun, and determination. Watching people grow and surpass her is what she loves. If leadership brings you joy, you can do it.
Kristin: Confidence is paramount and you cannot be afraid to fail. Analyzing why you were not successful then changing your approach will help you do things better in the future. As a leader, you are only as good as your team and my team’s success is my highest priority.