Will Levy III was honored with a Causey Award for helping the Bureau of Engraving and Printing receive a ranking of 47 out of 300 subcomponents on the 2013 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey.
Read what the nominators had to say about Will Levy.
His obvious concern and commitment to employee engagement proven by BEP’s improved EVS score.
Helping move BEP from near the bottom of Best Places to Work to the top 20 percent was a meaningful change that should improve productivity, reduce turnover and help with recruiting talent.
A clear impact and a focus on the most important element of a leader’s job — to engage others to higher levels of productivity.
Federal News Radio asked each Causey Award Winner to answer 10 questions about him or herself so that we could learn a little bit more about them. Here’s what Will Levy had to say:
What is the most surprising thing about your job?
How little difference there feels between my first job and this one many layers up the management structure. I feel like I’m using the same skills; same style; same tactics; same analysis; same interpersonal approach; same decision making model as in my 20s. I’m not saying I haven’t refined them but, sometimes I wonder why they pay me so much more for the same “me”! I keep saying to myself I really have them fooled! That, or I should have made a lot more salary back then!
What is the best piece of advice you most often give to your protégés?
To aspiring leaders my best advice is have a vision for whatever you are responsible for, develop your roadmap to getting there, be passionate about your vision, share it in practical terms, repeat your key points often, hold up to others examples that support your vision, and hold accountable those that fail to do their part. There are many more things I could say here, especially about treating people well, and not being afraid to make a mistake, but this is a great start for any new leader.
What is the worst piece of advice you have ever received?
I take all advice with a grain of salt and compare it to my own experiences and belief system. Advice that differs greatly from what I feel is right I just let fall off me. I’m also choosy about who I actively seek counsel from. I’m a big believer in “It Depends.” Rarely is any one solution the only answer. In any situation, after the analysis that can be done given time constraints of a particular issue is complete, input is received from those I work with, and other involved stakeholders, I trust my gut and prefer to sink or swim on my own decisions.
Who has been your biggest role model and why?
I haven’t had one particular role model. I’ve been blessed to work for and with numerous effective leaders. I’ve really only had one really poor boss. The others were smart, quick studies, fair, respectful, good decision makers, and not threatened by other strong leaders. My entire career I observed those in charge when I could and took note of what I felt was effective and added that strength to my tool kit. When I saw pitfalls, I’ve attempted to avoid those.
If you didn’t work for the federal government, what would be your dream job?
CEO of a fortune 500 company. I’d like to see how my leadership skills stack up against the cream of the crop. I’d even do it for nothing compared to what they pay them just to prove a point. But, coming down from the clouds … Head of Security for Mall of America, Staples Center, Verizon Center or some other fun venue where large events take place or lots of people visit. Or (this is a job you can only have in the federal government) head of security at a large airport. I like to people watch so I’d like to be in charge of something where thousands of people come together for fun or travel.
What hidden talent do you have that most of your coworkers don’t know about? Or, what’s one thing most of your coworkers don’t know about you?
Unfortunately I have no significant talents that are cool! One thing most people don’t know is that I’m a mall rat. People think because I’m motivated and busy at work I’m like that in my personal life. NOT! I prefer to do as little as possible when I’m not working. I love to spend whatever “me” time I can get sitting in the mall watching people spend their money. I’ve been in the D/M/V area since 2006 and I had probably been in every mall within 50 miles of D.C. within my first 2 years. I’m heading to King of Prussia mall in the fall. I also have a relatively new passion for NHRA drag racing and plan to use vacation time next year to hit some of the great events I watch on TV.
If you could ask one person in history any question, who would it be, what would be the question and why?
Adam (i.e. from the Garden of Eden). I’d ask him “did you really have to listen to her”? Why? Because life would not be the struggle it is if he had chosen a different path that day.
Who would you most like to have a business lunch with?
Anyone who is interested in making me a CEO! Seriously though, I’m not one to hobnob. Don’t get me wrong, I respect people for their achievements, but, there are just as many cool “nobodies” like myself that I would spend my time with willingly. I’d be just as content to have lunch with a student, friend, co-worker, etc., as I would with someone rich and powerful — especially if they were always looking at their watch! However, if Bill Gates or someone of that ilk wants to stop by my chair at the mall …
Your alarm clock rings at 5 a.m. on a Monday workday. What’s the first thing on your mind?
Well, my clock goes off at 4 a.m.! But, the first thing I usually think about is the day I won’t have to get up at 4 a.m.
What is the last book you read?
I read Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman and Field of Prey by John Sandford at the same time. Actually, I don’t read physical books often. I prefer to listen to them while I people watch at the mall.
Federal News Radio awarded four individuals with a 2014 Causey Award. Read more about each of the recipients.