Due to his contributions throughout the years to the success of the Alliance's missions, he was recently awarded the NATO Meritorious Service Medal (MSM). We interviewed Lisowski to learn more about his work experience and the details that entail planning and providing equipment support.
When planning and coordinating the delivery of the equipment, what is the most challenging part about liaising with multiple stakeholders?
I would say that the main difficulty about liaising with multiple stakeholders is being able to differentiate the individual needs of each. For example, we work with both customers and users, and even if they might have the same end goal - getting support for an operational requirement - it is important to identify exactly what their needs are. A customer might not be the end user, so they might only be interested in certain aspects of the delivery of the equipment, such as the financial implications. Whereas the user will be the individual that will use our product or service, so we might have to liaise with them from a different approach, like the functionality of the equipment.
Another challenging part is having to convince our customers and users that their requests might not be what they actually need. In such cases, our experience regarding architecture of systems and networks helps us to be confident to explain and influence our stakeholders. In the end, we want to make them see that we all have the same goal: to provide reliable access to services that will allow them to lead their missions. Once they see that, we are able to tackle their needs more accurately.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
The most rewarding part happens when we are told that an exercise or any other activity we supported has been successfully accomplished. That feeling is greatly rewarding, especially, when we have to deal with unexpected issues during the delivery or overcome additional time pressure. It is especially during those times that we feel particularly proud that our job contributed to the accomplishment of an exercise. It shows to both our stakeholders and the Alliance that we are resilient and we are prepared to support various challenges.
How would your younger self react to you receiving a Meritorious Service Award now?
I think that my younger self would have been incredibly surprised by this recognition. My first thought would have probably been something along the lines of: "Receiving such an achievement must require so much to succeed, I could never get one". Even now, I am still astonished that I have been awarded an MSM. It is very flattering that my work is considered worthy of NATO's highest honour. I feel as if I was a film director who receives an award for a lifetime of achievements at the end of their career. I am eager to continue delivering value to the Agency through my work, and as a result support the fulfilment of NATO's missions.