Pinnacle Award Finalist Mike Pullen: ‘We Grow More Through Failure Than Through Success’

Mike Pullen

Mike Pullen, CGI Federal

The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 8, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Nov. 12.

Next is Business Development Executive of the Year finalist Mike Pullen, who’s vice president of strategic operations at CGI Federal. Here, he talks about key achievements, lessons learned from failure and taking professional risks.

What key achievements did you have in 2019/2020? 

Having an organization that empowers its members to take action in the market, and trusts me to manage within the conditions and constraints in an ever-changing environment.

What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?

Being able to drive successful growth within our federalwide contract vehicle portfolio, and elevating CGI to a top performer under these vehicles.

How do you help shape the next generation of government leaders/industry leaders? 

Mentoring new leaders and giving them the space to succeed or fail, and helping them learn from those experiences.

What’s one key thing you learned from a failure you had?  

We often regret our failures; however, I have learned that we grow more through failure than through success. There is a saying for pilots: A pilot learns his most important lessons in turbulent skies.

What’s the biggest professional risk you’ve ever taken?

I had never been in the consulting world and took my first position as a consultant, and with it, the risk of temporary assignments. Upon arriving at my first consulting assignment, the client told me to not get comfortable — he did not want me to be there. However, I was able to gain his trust and remained on that assignment for almost 2 years.

Meet the other Pinnacle Awards finalists here.

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