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Executive Spotlight: Joseph Greaney of Northrop Grumman Information Systems

Executive Spotlight: Joseph Greaney of Northrop Grumman Information Systems - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Joeseph Greaney

Executive Spotlight: Joseph Greaney of Northrop Grumman Information Systems - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Joeseph Greaney

Northrop Grumman Information Systems’ Joseph Greaney recently spoke to ExecutiveBiz about his largest accomplishments this year and important aspects of leadership.

ExecutiveBiz:  Can you tell me a little about your background and how you ended up at Northrop Grumman?

Joseph Greaney:  I started my career as an electrical engineer and for my first 15 years, I performed design and development primarily in the telecommunications and signal processing area.  I really enjoyed it.  I then moved into program management and then line or general management after that.  For the majority of my career, I've worked in the Intelligence Community, holding various positions with SAIC, GTE Government Systems (presently General Dynamics) and a small business, IDEAS Inc, that was later acquired by SAIC. Approximately three years ago, an opportunity came up to lead Northrop Grumman in their business with a major intelligence agency in the Maryland area.  It was a good career move for me, and I've been here approximately three years.

ExecutiveBiz:  What do your current duties entail?

Joseph Greaney:  I manage the organization that performs signal processing, cyber, information management, and information technology work for this agency.  I am responsible for the execution of several programs ““ meeting program requirements, customer satisfaction, and financial performance requirements. My responsibilities  also include pursuing new business opportunities and strategic investments that will help us grow our business, as well as the career development of a large Northrop Grumman workforce in this area.

ExecutiveBiz:  How would your colleagues describe your leadership style?

Joseph Greaney:  Very hands-on and engaged, yet I try to empower my leaders to perform their jobs.  I enjoy being somewhat of a coach and mentor.  Yet, I try to ensure that they are empowered, delegated to enough so that they can make decisions and grow their respective businesses as well.

ExecutiveBiz:  What are some of the challenges you have met in your role?

Joseph Greaney:  One of my initial challenges when I arrived at Northrop was to integrate our business here in Maryland with the larger Northrop enterprise. Historically, my organization consists of some legacy Northrop employees and two small businesses that were purchased by Northrop Grumman approximately four years ago. Integrating these somewhat disparate workforces into one team was my first challenge. I believe we have accomplished that goal. My next challenge is,  with the recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) changes and the growth in the Intelligence Community,  we find ourselves challenged to get enough qualified, cleared, technical talent.  I think a lot of companies have this challenge, including our government customers. In this geographical area, we have to be innovative in how we can continue to attract qualified technical talent..

ExecutiveBiz:  How do you do that?

Joseph Greaney:  We're strengthening our affiliations with some of the local colleges: University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), University of Maryland College Park, Virginia Tech and other strong engineering and computer science programs.  We are working with Anne Arundel Community College on their cyber programs and we are trying to hire experienced, not presently cleared people to work on some of our research and development programs.

ExecutiveBiz:  What are some of your biggest accomplishments this year?

Joseph Greaney:  We have an enterprise information management and storage program that achieved a major milestone  in the DoD acquisition lifecycle in October.  That was a major accomplishment, because it is a complex program that had to recover from a scheduling challenge in 2009.  Also, our largest program has deployed several  processing systems around the world that protect our nation.  These systems are operating today. Finally, we were awarded a major new program to develop an IT framework that that will help intelligence analysts perform their jobs more effectively.

ExecutiveBiz:  What are some goals you have set for yourself in the next year?

Joseph Greaney:  My top three goals for next year are (1) to establish ourselves as the leader in information management for the intelligence community, (2) to continue to advance our leadership role in agile software development and (3) to continue to grow our business resulting in more career development opportunities and advancement for our employees.

ExecutiveBiz:  What do you do when you don't work?

Joseph Greaney:  I golf, I ski, and I read.  I used to play basketball, but not so much anymore.

ExecutiveBiz:  What is something most people don't know about you?

Joseph Greaney: I have two small hobbies.  One is working with HO model trains and the other one is making my own beer. Every few years, I do a project.  I don't really have a lot of time for them.  I'm also a pretty avid sports fan.

ExecutiveBiz: Those were all of the questions that I had.  Did you have anything you would like to add?

Joseph Greaney:  Let me talk a little about leadership.  I started my career in a small company and I found that that gave me a lot of experience early in my career because you get stretched; you work projects from start to finish so you are involved in the strategy, the planning and the execution of programs. That was a good foundation for me, as I later became a manager.  As a manager and a leader in an organization, I have four fundamental principles that I would like to share: I believe that candor among the team you are leading is very important.  It also becomes efficient and saves more time when people communicate candidly. I believe as a manager that measurement is very important. It quantifies people's performance and it can be a positive motivator if used properly. I find that proper hiring, developing, and promoting your best  people becomes your strongest asset.  I think if you hire and promote good people the work will find them and the business will grow. Managing your human resources is really important. Finally, in order to stay on top in this business, you've got to put forth a great effort and have passion for what you do.  I believe that there are a lot of smart people out there, a lot of tight competition, so sometimes your effort and attention to detail can set you apart from the competition.

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