Fort Belvoir, Va. –
Editor’s note: This is the final article in the Women’s History Month series featuring some of DCAA’s women leaders’ perspectives on leadership.
DCAA’s Joni Youngberg and René Morgan are both Deputy Directors for a DCAA subordinate organization but had different paths to leadership. Yet as they rose through the ranks, they both concluded that they needed to be true to themselves and not change to fit a preconceived model of a leader. Rene’s advice for future leaders, “Stay true to yourself and strive to be the best you.”
Joni, Deputy Director of Central Region, always enjoyed teaching and was drawn to being a supervisor to teach new auditors and help them grow both personally and professionally. In her current position, she still takes the time to help people reach and even find new potential. As she goes into a new leadership position, she focuses on really getting to know the people she works with. The first team she ever supervised showed her that if you genuinely care for the people you work with, they will become people you rely on and trust, and not just for the time you are together as a team, but throughout your career.
René, Deputy Director of the Lockheed Martin – BAE Corporate Audit Directorate, was encouraged to stretch and volunteer for positions that challenged her skill set. By doing so, she developed as both a manager and leader, which assisted in achieving her goal to make a difference in DCAA. She always listens to those she is leading and treats them with respect. She believes a strong support system is important and so is paying it forward by being a strong support system for others.
Both Joni and René found a variety of jobs helped them along in their careers. Both have also worked overseas and found the experience very rewarding. René served in the Iraq Office in Baghdad and Joni’s work has taken her to Israel, Germany, and Johnston Atoll in the Pacific. As Joni explained, “One of the best things about this Agency is the variety of positions available to us. I have worked in a variety of offices and each position either helped me grow in a skill I had or taught me a new skill.”