Next is CEO finalist in the Public Company category Anna Sever, president and CEO at Magellan Federal. Here, she talks about moving out of your comfort zone, taking risks, the importance of being “politely impatient” and more.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I am most proud of Magellan Federal’s legacy of service, unwavering commitment to our customers, and genuine care for our employees. These three pillars have been ingrained in our company culture and have driven us to consistently deliver excellence in everything we do. It is an honor to lead a team that embodies these values and works tirelessly to make a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.
What’s one key thing you learned from a failure you had?
I have learned that failures can be a powerful learning experience. One key lesson I have taken away is that even in the face of an error, it is possible to recover and come back stronger. It requires a willingness to take risks and push yourself further, even when the temptation may be to retract and play it safe.
Embracing failure as an opportunity for growth has been a valuable lesson for my team and me. It has helped Magellan Federal to continuously improve and innovate in all areas of our business.
What’s the biggest professional risk you’ve ever taken?
The biggest professional risk I have ever taken was leaving a successful and comfortable career at another company. Despite achieving a lot, I did not feel like I was continuing to grow intellectually. I had to be honest with myself and acknowledge that I was too comfortable and needed to take a risk to keep pushing myself forward.
A mentor once told me that if you are not growing, you need to leave, which stuck with me. While I was grateful for everything I learned at my previous company, I knew that I needed to leave to continue my personal and professional growth. This decision was a turning point in my career and has led me to where I am today.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my unique background and the diverse set of skills and experiences it has afforded me. Starting my career as a government worker gave me a deep understanding of both the public and private sector, and this foundation has been invaluable throughout my professional journey. Additionally, as a trained social worker, I bring a unique perspective to leadership and management.
The principles of social work, including managing people and change, underpin everything I do and have helped me to become the leader I am today. I am proud of the mold I have created for myself, which has allowed me to move forward continuously and grow in my career while staying true to my core values.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
My best career advice for those who want to follow in my footsteps is to be persistent, politely impatient with your organization, and extremely committed. It is important to embrace change and be willing to adapt to new situations and challenges.
Having been a military spouse for over two decades, I understand firsthand the difficulties of balancing family responsibilities with career growth. This experience has given me a unique understanding of the needs of military customers and the obstacles they face in accessing essential services.
As someone with a graduate degree in social work, I also believe in the importance of promoting the well-being of all members of our federal civilian population. My personal and professional mission is to break down barriers and make critical services more accessible to those who need them.