I have been working on my bio for the ScottE Software website. To that end, I have had both outside assistance and have been reviewing my career documents as a whole. I came across a paper written about a year ago by an employee at my last place of employment. This employee interviewed me as part of a work place assignment for an internal leadership program. I must say that I was honored that she chose me as the leader to write about within the organization.
I was really pleased with the paper overall and thought this would be a good place to share and (for me) to retain a copy of what she wrote.
Committed to people, committed to the future and committed to getting more out of now.
I had the pleasure and opportunity to interview Mr. Scott Ewart for my Leadership Tomorrow (LT) assignment. Scott has been with HOC for 15 years. Originally, Scott hails from Tennessee. He served in the United States Navy and was stationed in many places such as Florida, Spain, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Bahrain and Maryland. Upon his military service and receiving an Honorable Discharge, Scott spent two years as an information technology consultant. This contract position would find him running projects, scanning documents and various other Information Technology (IT) task. After two years of being a contractor, Scott found himself desiring stability.
Scott came to Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) as a Contractor working on the Y2K Conversion. Laura Miller hired him and after a year he accepted a full time career position in IT. He has worked in the IT department during his entire tenure.
As a Division Director, Scott’s leadership style expands the possibilities of now. He describes his management style as very hands on, direct and open with his staff. While hands on, Scott is quick to point out that he has a non-micromanagement approach to supervision. Rather, Scott positions staff in situations to be successful. When asked Scott how he handles difficult staff? Scott responded that you have to ascertain what makes them difficult, what makes the staff person unhappy and once you realize what it is then as the manager, do your level best to labor your way towards a working relationship.
As one can imagine, HOC has seen many evolutions in the past 15 years. When answering the question how did he survive the many transitions, I am reminded of the phrase “In touch with tomorrow”. Scott describes having many ideas over the years of how to make IT inspirational. Scott creates IT ideas that do more, cost less and are easy to use. Additionally, Scott has had to adapt from a leadership perspective based off his projects and the staff overseeing certain projects. As a leader Scott has learned that some people you must lead or manage in a certain way. In other words there is no one size fits all to supervision, basically because all staff are individuals. Scott’s approach to management is under standing the distinct personalities of each staff and being able to adapt.
Regarding leadership lessons learned thus far, Scott feels that when you are working for other leaders you will see what traits you want to emulate. When asked what advice Scott would give to our class, he challenged us to again imagine the possibilities. He also said that if you want to be a good leader look at great leaders in business. Scott looked at leaders such as Lee Iacocca. Scott advised the LT members to review the top business leaders and their organizational structures. He recommended that when one choses a management or leadership style, it is wise to cherry pick your management style wisely.
As the Director of IT, Scott has many successful accomplishments under his belt. Such as the implementation of YARDI, launching of On-Base, bringing your own device (BYOD), the Technology Employee Purchase Program (TEPP) just to name a few. Specifically, the BYOD program was highlighted in the April 2013, State Tech- Technology Insights for Leaders in State & Local Government magazine. The BYOD program for HOC staff is amazing. It allows staff to use their personal devices at work. Since HOC has Wi-Fi guest access employees are able to connect their mobile devices to the Internet. Scott has also been instrumental in the employee purchase program. This program allows HOC staff to purchase technology on a bi-weekly payment basis.
Scott stated that it is important to realize that you cannot please everyone so you must manage expectations, clearly define expectations and promote ways for all to ultimately be successful. Like many successful leaders, Scott describes a winner’s attitude. Regarding leadership success, Scott advises all to seek out continuing education courses, reviewing a number of good blogs, read as many published literatures pieces as possible. Once you have gained a solid knowledge base of the information you sought, then apply it to your everyday life.
A final piece of leadership advice is to visualize, hear and feel the difference between saturation and striking a balance. To that end and as much as possible, Scott describes spending quality family time with his daughter.
In conclusion, I would like to state that many of the Division Directors, I have a good working relationship with and Scott is one of them. I am appreciative that he agreed to this interview and have a great appreciation for his military service and family balance. Scott is a visionary leader who understands that new technology creates new opportunities to get a job done that customers want done.