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𝗦𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗙𝘂𝗹𝗹 𝗘𝗽𝗶𝘀𝗼𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗽𝗰𝘁𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗶𝗽𝘀 𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗸𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗼𝘄 !
She is a power house and its only fitting that this years motto is 𝙈𝙤𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙈𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙨
GDIT is an affiliate of General Dynamics
Phillip K. Naithram: right. Cause you’re building that confidence and that muscle memory over
Kristie Grinnell: It’s all stairsteps into the next thing that you’re meant to
Phillip K. Naithram: Have you ever felt yourself?
I call it the jumping off point. It’s a moment in time where you can’t keep doing what you’re doing, but you’re uncertain about what to do next. You just know you have to stop; you have to do something and you’re not even sure what it is and it doesn’t have to be in your career.
It could be in your personal life or, or anything.
Kristie Grinnell: I actually have had that in my career. When I was at CSC, I was working incredibly long hours. And it was a culture that I was not proud to be a part of where here I’m very proud to be a part of this culture. And knowing that it was taking a huge toll on me and my health, I had gained like 20 pounds working there, just so stressful and you’re not eating well, you’re not sleeping well, you’re eating out of the vending machine.
, you’re going to bed four hours later, you’re coming back to work, just not the environment that was for me and making some decisions that I just didn’t agree with. I knew I had to make the decision, but it’s not something that I agreed with, which just ate at me. I couldn’t stick to my true moral compass and what I was doing.
And so, I resigned and I’ve never. Quit anything before. Right. And like, I don’t even like that word cause I, I will always say like a granola is not a quitter. Right. We, we don’t quit. We, we always try and we might say this isn’t for me and move to the next best thing, but we don’t quit. And so, we my husband, I talked about it a lot and I resigned and I said, this isn’t for me.
And then lo and behold, that’s how I got the next CIO job. So, I took a bet on myself and that’s the thing that we have to remember. Right. It’s So, taking that bet on yourself.
Phillip K. Naithram: How long did it take you to make that decision or how long had that internal feeling of, I mean, it sounds like, so it was, it was your, your physical health because of.
Lack of sleep. What was that feeling like at the time? How did that affect your family life? Like, and how long did that go on before it took that?
Kristie Grinnell: So, I actually knew the week I started that this was not the right
Phillip K. Naithram: So, you knew it was wrong.
Kristie Grinnell: As soon as I walked in the door, I knew. And but I told myself, I wasn’t a quitter that I was going to try it out and I was going to give it my best shot.
And I do think that I made a difference on the culture there and that I did the best I could with the tools I had available. And I, I added value to the organization, but I couldn’t let it continue to, to suck the life out of me. So, my husband and I talked about it because I knew right away what it was.
And so, we said, let’s give it a year. And then because of the, some things going on, I said, we’ll give it a year and a half. So, I did, but we always knew that that was the goal. Just get past a year. And so, then I aligned it with one of my kids ended school and we had the best summer
Phillip K. Naithram: Is that what you did? You just took some time off and w and did it feel, did it feel any kind of like a loss, you mentioned like you reframed it cause it’s not really quitting, it’s moving onto the next thing. You’re not sure what that next thing is, but you can just can’t keep doing this because you’re probably making negative progress by staying
Kristie Grinnell: That’s right. So, I think because of the confidence my dad instilled in me, I knew I was going to end up on the better side of it. So, I didn’t take it as a loss.
I took it as a, what can I learn from this? And it’s actually the CIO I used to work for there who put me in for the job at GDIT. Right. Which that’s how the world works. Right. You, you, you think it was the worst thing ever. And then people look back and say, oh, that sounds horrible. I learned so much there. And I ended up getting this from it. So, it’s great. But at the same time, I didn’t feel a loss. I felt I had to give myself a break and a breather so that I could refill my tank so that I could then come and be the best thing I could be at the next step. I was going.
Phillip K. Naithram: Sometimes our moments of pain or our greatest teachers, there’s so many, I mean, there’s so many things look like anybody else. I’ve got a history too. And it’s, there’s things that at the time describing to someone else, they would say, oh my God, that’s
Kristie Grinnell: Right.
Phillip K. Naithram: But I look back and I’m filled with
Kristie Grinnell: that that happened. Absolutely
Phillip K. Naithram: not happened, I wouldn’t have learned any of those things. And I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today or living the life that I’m living today, doing the things, meeting the people that I’m meeting today, if it weren’t for that. So, at the time it feels horrible. And it’s we have these cliches, like I was telling you earlier about the get comfortable with being uncomfortable and it’s, we’ve used it so much that it’s become cliche, but no one really talks about what that feels like in that moment. It’s going to be hard to
Kristie Grinnell: remember
Phillip K. Naithram: that this is what we asked for that this is just being comfortable with being like, it’s like, oh my God.
Kristie Grinnell: absolutely.
Phillip K. Naithram: But here you are. And that’s. And do you share that with your team
Kristie Grinnell: all the time? All the time, I share it with my team and I shared it with my kids. Right. Which I thought it was really important for them to see that it’s okay to bet on yourself that you can put yourself first and make these things happen. And that we were putting family first as well, because I wanted to be a really good mom and I saw that. I wasn’t. So,
Phillip K. Naithram: so, what’s next for Kristie Grinnell? Are you planning any, like, do you challenge yourself every year to do something scary or hard in it? I mean, you’re already the CIO of a, of a company like this. I’m sure you’ve got challenges, but looking at what’s next and more ways for you to mentor others and do things like that. What do you have planned?
Kristie Grinnell: Yeah. So, the way I look at it is that I want to do the things that are going to add the most value for the time I put in to what I’m doing and be very present in my career, in my home and in anything else that I’m doing.
And so. Throughout my entire career. I didn’t always go out seeking the next thing I had, but things often fall in my lap. And then I decide, is that the next thing that is going to help me create more value? So, I’m waiting to see what that next thing is, but in the meantime and I’m sure that’s going to be a great gig here at GDA. I just, we have to wait and see what that is, but in the meantime, there’s so much more to do here. So yes, we’ve integrated two companies and done amazing things to help the company, settle into this one GDIT and who we are. We’re growing the culture we’re changing the way women are looked at.
And it, especially here at GD, growing the number of women in our workforce. So, we’re doing really great things, but there’s so much more to do, right? I, I, I look at the opportunity and how to transform this company and the way that we work, how can we, be easier to work with for our customers? How can we be easier to partner with, with these technology vendors that we work with every day? How can we be a better place to work so that we always win that war on talent? Those are the problems I want to continue to try and solve, because I know we can always do more and always do better. And if we do that, the business is going to continue to grow. I’ll always feel that I’m adding value. And then on top of it, I have this amazing team that I’m watching grow and do great things. And I just want to see them continue to do that. And I am there for them all day long.
Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. So, if someone wanted to reach out to you to be, a mentee or just to kind of run ideas by you, how can they reach out to you? What’s the best way.
Kristie Grinnell: LinkedIn. Text phone, Microsoft teams, if you’re here at GDIT, I, I have an open-door policy. I very rarely turn people away. I think it’s important because again, I learned as much from that mentee as I typically do, as they typically do as a mentor.
Phillip K. Naithram: that’s awesome. Well, I really appreciate you spending some time with us today. It’s been great chatting with you and I’m looking forward to hopefully someone reaching out to me saying, hey, would you mind introducing me to Kristie because I really want to do that.
Kristie Grinnell: sounds great. I’m ready to, to meet other people and I’m ready to see you grow this into the huge success that I know it’ll be. All right. much. Thank you.