John Sherman

Humility, kindness, adaptability and willingness to capitalize on teams’ initiative are key traits that make good leaders, according to the Defense Department’s Chief Information Officer John Sherman. “I see the most important qualities of a good leader being centered around providing a common vision/North Star, instilling the team with enthusiasm and focus towards key goals, always embracing respect and diversity of views, not taking oneself too seriously, and never asking your team to do something you wouldn’t do yourself,” he told FedScoop. Sworn into this role in December, Sherman is steering notable digital transformation initiatives across the massive enterprise. “My top priorities are increasing the department’s cybersecurity posture by implementing Zero Trust at scale and getting rid of technical debt on weapon systems and other critical assets; providing enterprise cloud computing capabilities; enhancing command, control, and communication capabilities to enable our warfighters to dominate in highly-contested environments; enhancing our digital talent opportunities/development; and improving the user experience across” the DOD, he said. Sherman brings decades of tech and leadership experience to the role, and he most recently served as the intelligence community’s CIO. The biggest lesson he’s learned about leading in a federal government context is the need to build strong coalitions. “Teaming is critical to overcoming the hardest enterprise challenges and navigating what can sometimes be daunting obstacles,” Sherman said.

Amrita Datar

Written by Amrita Datar

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