CNSI CEO discusses what it takes to be an effective leader

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This week on Leaders and Legends, host Aileen Black interviews Todd Stottlemyer, CEO of CNSI, and the former CEO of the Inova Center for Personalized Health. CNSI is a health IT firm with offices in the Washington, D.C. region, nationally, and internationally.

Interview highlights:

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  • As a football player at the College of William & Mary, Stottlemyer believes playing sports is leadership training. Sports teaches you to work as a team, articulate a vision, and inspire the team to buy into the vision and plan.
  • Stottlemyer called his father an inspiration who told him “with hard work and focus, anything is possible.” His father joined the Army at the age of 18, finished college with the help of the GI bill and later worked at the United Nations.
  • Driven by the call to improve the nation’s security after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, in which he lost three friends, Stottlemyer started his tech company.
  • Stottlemyer became involved in Inova Health Systems Foundations board of directors after the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit saved his son’s life. Stottlemeyer said then-CEO of Inova was looking to hire executives who had different sets of experiences. Once on board, Stottlemyer co-chaired an initiative to build a strategy around translational research with a personalized medicine plan, which eventually led to the creation of the Inova Center for Personalized Health.
  • The leadership style Stottlemyer strives to emulate is “servant leadership.” He said if you bring the right culture and values to an organization or community, good things can happen.
  • “You cannot fake passion. You have to have real energy and passion for what you do, a stewardship responsibility for the people around you and [you have to] take action.” He also said listening is a key foundation of good leadership.

Sottlemyer has received numerous honors for business and community leadership, including recognition as one of the 100 most influential leaders in the Washington, D.C. region by the Washington Business Journal; and as one of the 50 most influential Virginians by Virginia Business magazine. He is a former board chairman of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

He received his bachelor’s degree from William & Mary, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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