IntelliDyne Deputy Operations Manger, Darlene Minea

Employee Spotlight on Darlene Minea

How long have you been with IntelliDyne and what is your current role?
I’ve been with IntelliDyne for 9 years, currently serving in the position of Deputy Operations Manager.

What do you think makes IntelliDyne a great place to work?
I have found that IntelliDyne is a place where company culture and values are not just a slogan on a website but ingrained in what we do and who we are as a company. The idea that you can be part of something bigger than yourself, to give back to your community, and to work hard and see the reward for it, is truly what has kept me here these last 9 years.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
Finding ways to fill knowledge gaps, increase understanding, and build relationships with my team and clients are what keep me coming to work excited and motivated! I absolutely love what I do!

What was your dream job growing up?
Oh, definitely working for NASA in some fashion. I always wanted to be part of the programs performing cutting-edge research in space or sending our astronauts to Mars (or even further).

What is the most important career lesson you’ve learned so far?
Overall, I would say using volunteer or job shadow opportunities to test the waters for potential career goals. Those experiences can be quite valuable, allow you to try new things, and help determine if what you think you’d like to do is actually worth pursuing. As a manager, I would say the most important lesson I learned was the importance of crafting a leadership statement that set standards for not only what I expect of my team but for what my team could expect of me…and then, to ensure that my actions align with my words to keep the trust of my team intact.

How do you motivate and inspire your team?
I think you have to know your people and what keeps their spirits up when the workload is heavy. For some, the mission is primarily important…knowing they are part of something bigger than themselves and understanding how their role contributes to the larger team or client effort. For others, the camaraderie of a supportive team keeps them coming back. Some need stretch assignments to keep themselves challenged, while others might need extra encouragement/coaching to stay moving and motivated. Some just need space to do their jobs. Food can be a great morale booster, too! Regardless of the approach I take, I try to stay positive, actively listen, and keep the flow of information going both up the leadership chain as well as down.

What energizes you at work?
Seeing clients engage with our team and walking away satisfied…that’s really cool. Helping the team engage with each other in a supportive, fun environment that keeps everyone moving forward towards a common mission…I love that too!

What is the most important quality of a good leader?
Active listening has to rank pretty high on the list, along with integrity and accountability, for qualities that make good leadership traits. What is that saying, “People may not remember what you say, but will never forget how you made them feel”? In an age of increasing demands on our time and attention, with phones constantly ringing and emails/texts/chats inbound all day long, how meaningful is it when the person across the table from you puts the phone away and gives you their undivided attention? I would say that is particularly impactful when it is a leader or manager who does so. Giving someone that full attention makes them feel appreciated and valued, encourages engagement with staff, and builds trust.

What parts of our mission do you connect with?
When I started with IntelliDyne, I really connected with the idea of empowering our clients to provide the best service possible. Understanding the “why” of our clients’ different mission objectives helps us provide better, more focused service that truly aligns with their goals and is supportive of their needs. I believe that if our clients know we have their best interests at heart and are driven to help them achieve their “why”, we will all ultimately be successful.

What is one unique or fun fact that others may not know about you?
Although I would consider myself quite a “people person” on the job, I’m actually quite an introvert outside of the workplace. My home is my sanctuary! Can’t beat a good book and a great glass of wine or cup of tea for a chance to relax and unwind after a long day.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I love to read, and love to play Xbox or PC games like Diablo or The Room series…really, any game that makes me think or keeps me on my toes. My family keeps me moving (my hubby, my five daughters who are all but grown and one very busy grandson!) and football season is always loud and proud at our house (Go Pats!). I find yoga and meditation very helpful to practice, and really enjoy volunteering whenever and wherever I can. San Antonio (and the surrounding hill country) has become quite a foodie and wine destination, so on any given (non-football) weekend you might find the hubby and I exploring a new dish or partaking in our favorite wine flight at a local winery.

What is on your bucket list?
I love to travel, and a return to Europe is definitely a must. I lived in Germany for three years and feel like I barely scratched the surface of all that could be seen and experienced! Japan and Thailand are both on my list as well. Additionally, I’d love to spend an entire football season catching as many New England Patriot games as possible…what an epic road trip that would be!

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