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5E Observer

2018, Issue 2

5 Questions with Becky

Becky Bareford

Becky Bareford started her new role as our first vice president and chief operating officer on June 1. We recently asked her five questions to get to know her better.

In a nutshell, how would you describe your leadership style?

Servant leader, collaborative, business focused

What advice would you give to new employees starting their career with the Fed?

Be courageous: Don’t accept “that’s how we’ve always done it.” Think critically and challenge the status quo. Be solution and value focused. Speak up when you have a perspective that can help us get a better end result.

Be curious: Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from learning and trying new things.   

Be yourself: I’ve had various mentors remind me along the way to just be myself.  Authenticity is important to build trusting relationships.

Own your career and network: Build relationships with and learn from others. Don’t assume. Don’t wait for direction. Embrace ambiguity and view yourself as an organizational, not a functional, employee.

Is there something you’re particularly looking forward to in your new role?

I’m looking forward to working with our leadership team to define what the next three years will bring for our Bank and the Federal Reserve System through the development of our next strategic plan.  We’ll use feedback from employee sessions and the engagement survey to help inform our direction, building on our strengths and identifying new opportunities where we can better achieve our central bank mission.

Becky also enjoys spending time with her dog, Holly.

How do you unwind and have fun?

Growing up, my family wasn’t in a financial position to travel so I committed to myself that when I grew up I would always try to take at least one vacation each year where I could travel and explore new places.

When I’m traveling, I unwind and unplug but I always remain curious! I try to learn something new about the people and culture, and take that experience home with me to incorporate into my perspectives and way of thinking. And closer to home, I make a mean bread pudding!

What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you? 

At work, I love “walk and talks.” For any meeting that doesn’t require writing or me being tied to my desk phone, I try to use the opportunity as a chance to walk — whether it’s in the lobby or outside. It’s important to step away sometimes into a different atmosphere. It helps increase my energy level and it drives more creative thinking.

On a personal note, I think of some of my passions in terms of sports. I really enjoy gardening and watching my perennials grow and flourish year after year. Gardening is my solo sport — a form of meditation and quiet time where I get to see the fruits of my labor. My team sport is doing work I love with my colleagues at the Fed. We collaborate and challenge each other to think creatively, problem solve and get work done. And we celebrate our team wins together! It’s rewarding and fun.

Video is temporarily unavailable.

Becky shares what she remembers most about her first two decades at the Fed in a video recently shared with employees.

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