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Home Agency News * COO Teri Bristol * Leaders Teaching Leaders


Hi everyone.  Earlier this week, I attended the ATO Managers meeting in Ft Worth. This was an opportunity for managers from Technical Operations, System Operations and Air Traffic Services to focus on operational priorities and collaboration across the ATO and the agency.   A common thread that I heard at the meeting was about the importance, at all levels of the organization, of pulling together to achieve positive outcomes. 

No matter what your particular position is in the organization, you can influence those positive outcomes.   In other words, it’s about personal power, not positional power.  Personal power is what drives our strategic success in the key priority areas of safety risk mitigation, NextGen implementation, integrating new users, and shaping global aviation.  This kind of leadership at all levels requires us to positively influence the people we work with – our employees, our bosses, our co-workers and our customers.   

        At the Manager’s meeting, we talked about the importance of Adaptive Leadership, a way to address the more complex challenges we face in the workplace.    

        Adaptive leadership is one theme we’ve been covering in Leaders Teaching Leaders (LTL), a component of our Continuous Leadership Development (CLD) program to support our operational management teams.  LTL is a one-day training led by senior managers to improve their management teams’ cohesiveness and adaptive leadership and interpersonal skills.  We plan to conduct it twice a year.  We’ve conducted more than 40 LTL sessions nationwide for more than 500 managers so far.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive. 

        CLD has two other initiatives in development.  Virtual Learning will provide a wide range of tailored, online resources to support continuous learning in the ATO.  The third component includes leadership workshops that will dig deeper into teaching the adaptive leadership skills we will need to be successful in the future. 

        Let me close by reiterating something that Administrator Huerta said at the ATO Manager’s meeting in Fort Worth. He said that during a crisis – like the Chicago fire or the Austin flood – everyone steps up.  We see exceptional camaraderie – management, labor, all service units and lines of business pull together as part of one team.  But we don’t need a crisis to achieve this kind of cross-agency collaboration.  Let’s do it as a matter of course, and let’s continue to think about ways to cultivate our leadership skills.

Thanks everyone!


Teri L. Bristol

ATO Chief Operating Officer