The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 11, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person Nov. 30.
Next is Business Development Executive of the Year (Public Company) finalist Gil Smith, who’s senior director of government health system development for Philips. Here, he talks success in his current role, primary focus areas going forward, breaking rules and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2021/2022?
Elevating the Philips brand and credibility across all sectors of government by infusing new methodologies to business development and operations.
When I joined Philips in 2021, I assumed leadership of seven business development professionals with diverse experience. Combining my government expertise with the unique skill sets from each of my team members has unlocked new potential for our government business and has facilitated a transition for Philips from a market-leading medical device manufacturer into a medical technology solutions provider with integrated professional services capabilities.
What has made you successful in your current role?
This role has allowed me to apply my experience as a contracting officer, health care administrator, federal executive and business developer to drive real impact for Philips. Key to my success is confidence in my ability to affect change and my leadership’s trust, giving me the latitude to create and lead outside of my scope of operations.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
Advancing our nation’s capabilities in expeditionary and battlefield medicine for our warfighters is top of mind. Philips is uniquely positioned to bring about evolutionary change to the way we treat casualties and coordinate care between roles.
To take this one step further, once the infrastructure is in place, we can track a service member from MEPS to VA care post-service. As a former hospital corpsman, this is personal, and my call to Philips lets me carry my service forward.
How do you help shape the next generation of government leaders/industry leaders?
I am always open to mentoring and am proud to have an expansive brain trust of quality people to guide in their careers. I encourage talented individuals to move between the civilian and government sectors, to experience different roles and responsibilities.
Having diversity in experience builds a strong foundation for my business developers in their present roles and for future career endeavors.
Which rules do you think you should break more as a government/industry leader?
All of them, except for those that involve life and safety. Breaking rules isn’t something I generally recommend, but a good stretch and the occasional stress fracture can net positive results.
I believe it’s good to challenge rules to see if they add value or if they are an obstacle to growth. Sometimes, stressing the rules gives you that insight and information as to when and where change is needed.