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June 28, 2019

The Key to One Manager's Success? An Agile Mindset

Maybe you know someone who wakes up slowly, right? Brian is not that type of guy.

"Agility is key. I am up at 5 a.m. making quick decisions; one being whether to drive in or ride my bike to Freddie Mac. My commute takes about an hour and a half, but it's great. When I ride, it's just me, my Harley, the morning air, and the open road. I'm able to focus on just negotiating the road ahead."

In 7th grade, Brian attended the U.S. Civil Air Patrol, a program that introduces pre-teens to the service mindset of the U.S. Air Force. In high school, he joined the Air Force Jr ROTC and upon enlistment, Brian graduated from basic training in two-weeks. His U.S. Air Force career landed him in California, where he supported aircraft electronics until earning his undergraduate degree.

"We observed enemy movements, strategic positions, surplus and war reserve stocks. To collect this critical intelligence, our plane's avionics and technological capability always had to be in top shape. That was my job. I knew the lives of many U.S. servicemen and women depended on the strength of accurate data."

Today, Brian is a Business Process Manager on the Freddie Mac Multifamily team. Last fall, he was selected to become the Product Owner for one of Freddie Mac's pioneer Modern Delivery teams. With Modern Delivery's approach, small, cross-discipline teams are co-located to easily confer on ideas.

"When I started working with Modern Delivery, I quickly realized the value of the Agile approach. We work on product concepts just until we have a viable prototype that we can test against real life scenarios. Then, we share it with customers, get their feedback and fine-tune the product. Every day there are these collaborative eureka moments, where we're faced with a problem or an obstacle and then someone, says, 'Ooh, we could do it this way!'"

Brian has found Modern Delivery to be exciting and challenging because like most other things in his life, it requires him to be agile. It rolls together his interests in technology, mentoring people, and helping Freddie Mac develop great products for the business.

"Being of service, whether it's the U.S. Air Force or Freddie Mac is central to how I live," said Brian. He comes from a military family. In the last two generations, nine are veterans and his nephew is currently in the U.S. Air Force Academy.

"This is what I tell my kids and the nephews I'm mentoring now; someday you'll realize that one of your greatest strengths is your ability to adapt; stay open, try new things. You are as big as the adventure you take."


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