Executing strategy is a significant part of Robert Lech’s role at LMI, but another significant part entails managing a highly talented team of business developers and project leads. Robert’s defense team comprises great personalities with a strong work ethic and excitement for LMI’s mission—an overall winning combination for our Department of Defense clients. Robert recently sat down with us to answer a few questions on how the importance of teamwork and a strong belief in LMI’s core mission contribute to the mission of our customers.
What is your role and responsibility as LMI’s VP of the Defense market?
I’m responsible for executing LMI’s strategy to provide logistics, advanced analytics, digital services, and management advisory capabilities and services across the Department of Defense. I also oversee profit-and-loss management, delivery quality, and business growth within the sector.
How long have you been at LMI and what experience do you have that is essential to your role?
I’ve been at LMI for four years. Prior to my position as VP of the Defense market, I also served as VP of business development for LMI’s IT services. Prior to that, I had many roles implementing and managing large, complex enterprise IT initiatives and developing business across the federal market.
Looking at 2019, what lies ahead for your market? What are your goals for 2019?
We are re-competing for a major contract this year and it is absolutely critical that we win. For me, winning is not just about the continued revenue we would get with this win. We have a responsibility for those people already working on this contract and need to do everything we can to win that work and keep them there.
As for the main goal in 2019, the Defense market has fairly aggressive growth targets, and we are focused on achieving those goals.
What do you think makes you a great leader? What skills, attributes or qualities make you a stand-out?
Key attributes are my hiring strategy and acumen. I hire the right people to build a great team and that leads to more success. I like watching others succeed. I’ve been working with federal agencies my entire career and I understand the business rather well, but I also know when I need to rely on others for their expertise in certain areas of DoD. I’m also known for my calm demeanor. I’m not one who reacts quickly when something happens; rather, I like to collect information before making a decision or reacting.
How would you describe your managing style?
I draw on the strengths of my team—I trust them (but verify), which makes management easy. I don’t always see it as “I’m their boss.” Sure, I lead and provide guidance, but I also roll up my sleeves, dig in, and act as part of the team.
What do you think makes a “winning” team at LMI, and what do you think makes the Defense team stand out?
People are the ones who make up a winning team—their attitude, work ethic, passion, communication, the value they offer—it’s the combination. What makes the Defense team stand out is exactly what I just mentioned. We have a great mix of personalities and some really fine LMIers who support the DoD market. But what I think you will also find is that there’s an excitement that each has around solving their customer’s problems. It’s not just about their individual submarket; it’s about helping the defense customer and the mission.
What makes you a person to watch in 2019?
I defer back to the Defense team. We have so many exciting things going on in our market. Extensive opportunities to further support the DoD mission. We have small pieces of work we’ve performed for many years that are expanding and potential for significant growth. Our current operating model has enabled us to look at things in a different way and has opened the door for many exciting opportunities.
If you hired someone today, what’s the first thing you would tell them about yourself?
I would tell them how excited I am to be at LMI at this time and to be a part of the evolution. I like to have fun, but my expectations are really high—for myself and those around me. We work hard and play hard.