Josh Dirsmith, VP of Public Sector: Leadership – An Essential Trait for Cloud Success

Early in my career, I served as a Platoon Sergeant and Network Manager in the U.S. Marine Corps under Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. I was stationed in Egypt, and one aspect of my role consisted of doing network checks every morning before we headed up to parts unknown in the Middle East.  

My interactions with General Mattis, who was a one-star general at the time, were brief. They were mainly two-minute conversations where we made sure everything was good to go for the day, talked about general training and discussed our Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs). The conversations never really veered from these topics. 

On my 24th birthday, however, General Mattis stopped me before I left. “Hey, Josh,” he said. 

I was shaved bald, but if I had hair on my head and neck, it would have been standing up straight. Marine generals do not address Marine corporals by their first name, so I merely responded, “Sir?” 

“Today’s your birthday, isn’t it?” 

General Mattis had me sit down and we talked about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Then, he wrote me a recommendation for Officer Candidates School. It was one of the finest moments of my career, and I still have that letter framed. 

We had never had a lengthy conversation before, but him knowing that it was a special day for me and gifting me that time showed me how much he cared about his team. I’ve carried that mindset with me throughout my career.  

My number one job is setting my team up for success, learning how to leverage their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses. 

Mission accomplishment, troop welfare

The U.S. Marine Corps has a mantra of “mission accomplishment, troop welfare.” That’s what drives me as a leader. My number one job is setting my team up for success, learning how to leverage their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses. 

I’ve had people I’ve worked with previously come work with me at Effectual. I think that speaks volumes to the respect they have for me as a leader. 

What’s my secret? I treat them as people. I respect them and their goals, I set them up to succeed, and we have a bit of fun doing it. 

The value of leadership within the cloud

That leadership serves me well in the public sector as I work with federal, state, and local governments, educational organizations, and nonprofits. Leadership is an essential trait within the cloud. When we work with companies and organizations, we start by assessing where they are. Again, it’s getting to know them, their strengths, their weaknesses, and figuring out what’s best for their unique situation. 

Once we’ve determined that, we’re ready to move them into the cloud through some combination of professional and managed services. But that move doesn’t go smoothly without the measured leadership of someone who fully understands their challenge areas and objectives. 

You may not know your exact mission within the cloud just yet, and that’s okay. Partnering with someone who can get you there is the first step. I’m excited to continue to grow, refine and expand our customer partnerships, and introducing the public sector to all the cloud can help them achieve. 

Josh Dirsmsith is the Vice President of the Public Sector at Effectual, Inc.