On May 20, Red Team announced Jeff Leitner as Director of Consulting. In this new position, Jeff will oversee Red Team’s project engagements and team of consultants. In his previous role at Red Team, Jeff served as a Senior Consultant, providing capture strategy and proposal development support to our clients. As Director of Consulting, Jeff will also lead the company’s proposal training development and delivery. Jeff brings an extensive career in proposal development, having run business development and proposal operations for Stanley Associates, GDIT, Engility, and Vectrus.
We asked Jeff his thoughts on his new role, his advice to folks in the federal contracting industry, and a few personal questions. Here’s what he had to say:
1. What are you most looking forward to in your new position as Director of Consulting?
I’m really excited to meet with more of our clients and to get to know our consultants better, so that we can always make a great match between our clients’ needs and our consultants’ capabilities and leadership styles. I’m also looking forward to learning even more about our business from our consultants and clients.
2. What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
For me, it’s all about communication. I hope that our clients will have their expectations met so that they find success and business growth through our consulting support. And I hope that our consultants will understand what we’re doing, where we’re going, and where and when the next project will come from.
3. Having 25 years of experience in proposals, capture, and business development, what advice do you have for folks working in the federal contracting industry today?
So many thoughts…first, we work in a high-pressure, time-constrained world. People in our industry need to take care of their whole selves. If you wait for the perfect time at work to take a vacation or stop to decompress, you’ll never get there. Take that vacation or break when you schedule it—the world will continue to rotate on its axis. Also, even though the contracting and proposal ground has been well-plowed for decades, there are always opportunities for learning and growth. Never stop looking for new ways to do the same old things—sometimes the most creative, impactful ideas come from people who are new to the industry.
4. You have a few years of experience working as a proposal development consultant. What advice do you have for proposal consultants?
Consultants need time off and the opportunity to decompress just like employees do. It’s sometimes hard to say “no” to a new project opportunity, because there’s always the fear of burning bridges. Be up-front with Red Team and with your clients and no one will begrudge you saying “no” once in a while, especially if you need the time to attend to life.
5. If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?
While it’s tempting to say I’d want to be a bird who’s a great flyer, like a Purple Marten, I think I would prefer to be an African Elephant. There’s a certain quiet confidence, an ability to go pretty much wherever you want to go, and a silent, hidden empathy. Plus, you get to live in Africa.
6. Tell us 3 things most people don’t know about you.
- In the late 90s, I lived for two years on a 27-foot sailboat in Annapolis, MD.
- I have a list on my phone of the 12 music albums I would have if I were stuck on a desert island and could only have 12 albums with me (i.e., my “desert island disk list”).
- I have a peace sign tattoo on my right forearm.