Position: Operations Value Stream Leader
Employer: Raytheon Co.
Member Since: 2005
Peter Pisasale, P.E.Previous gigs: Within Raytheon, I've had the opportunity to work in three states at five facilities in 12 years. I've worked in electrical systems design, test engineering, as an operations manager, a manufacturing program manager, and now serve as a value stream leader with responsibility for roughly a dozen programs and 150 employees.
How did you first get into engineering? Accidentally. I applied for an Air Force ROTC scholarship to pay for college and listed physics as my preferred major. The Air Force was interested in me, but they needed engineers, so they offered me the scholarship if I studied electrical engineering (and joined the Air Force). I talked it over with my parents and a few high school teachers and decided to go for it.
If you weren't an engineer you'd be. It's funny, I can't imagine not being an engineer, because I think like an engineer. I haven't been "working" as an engineer for several years, I manage groups with engineers embedded in the teams, but I view every problem I come across using the tools I've learned as an engineer.
What do you value in the people you work with? I feel the most important trait for a coworker is accountability. If you make a commitment to do something, get it done, don't make excuses. A team of people committed to doing what they say is a high-performing team that gets things done, which makes work much more fun.
What do you think companies need to do to attract younger generations into the engineering industry? More people need to be exposed to the field of engineering. Unfortunately, there are too many people who don't know what engineering is and what engineers do.
What does leadership mean to you? A leader needs to have the courage to do the right thing every time. They set the tone for the organization.
Leaders you admire? Colin Powell and Andrew Jackson, two focused, hard-driving men who acted decisively and achieved significant successes.
Web site you can't go a day without visiting: MLB.com.
Something readers would be surprised to learn about you? I'm in the middle of a personal reading challenge, a biography of each U.S. president in order. I'm up to James Garfield, so I'm approaching the halfway point.
Finish this sentence: In 10 years, I will have enough free time on evenings and weekends to coach softball and track for my two daughters, aged 11 and 12 (I'm hoping they don't choose to play soccer).
Book you can't go a year without rereading? I've read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance three times over the last 12 years and each time I read it I say I'm going to reread it more often, but I've got too long a list of books I want to read for the first time.
Facebook or MySpace? Facebook, but I'm a very passive user.
How do you strike a work/life balance?
I make it a point to be home in time for dinner with my family. I usually end up turning my PC back on after my two daughters go to bed, but I have 12 hours of family time each evening that's sacred.