Leaders on the Rise - Joi Moorer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

February 21, 2020

Each quarter, we feature a past participant of the Rising Leaders program in a section we call "Leaders on the Rise." For this installment, we sat down with Joi Moorer (Rising Leaders '18), Capital Program Analyst for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Moorer discussed ways the Rising Leaders program helps her keep our region moving! 

1. Please tell us about your role at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and how it has evolved since your time in the Rising Leaders program.

In my role as Capital Program Analyst, I am responsible for budget oversight, project-based resource planning, and contract administration for the Office of Bus Planning. Since my time in the Rising Leaders program, my role has evolved significantly. I now have more opportunities to demonstrate the leadership and project management skills gained in the Rising Leaders Program (RLP). Moreover, I get to work with a large team of experts who understand how bus services impact the region on a community level. Working on a larger team has offered myriad opportunities to leverage techniques learned during the DiSC profile sessions offered in the program. As a result, the team has experienced improved interactions and achieved higher results overall. Being able to build functional relationships based on the personality types of my colleagues has yielded the greatest return on investment – hands down. I’m confident the leadership tools gained in RLP will catapult my career and looking forward to continued evolution at WMATA.

2. With ridership up on Metro this year, can you speak a bit about the important role of public transportation in our region? What are some of the innovative conversations happening right now at WMATA?

Public transportation is extremely important to this region. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a publication titled Public Transit Facts that lists the following top five benefits of public transportation: (1) provides economic opportunities, (2) safer way to travel than by automobile, (3) saves money, (4) reduces gasoline consumption, and (5) reduces carbon footprint. I’d say the items on that list are significant contributions to regional development. Metro keeps the region moving! At Metro, we do not take our role in this region lightly. Many of the innovative conversations happening now are focused on customer satisfaction and service performance. Under the leadership of Mr. Wiedefeld, WMATA is getting back to its roots in delivering safe and affordable transportation to millions of individuals riding the system. The objective is to continue the upward trend in ridership and Metro is always seeking innovative approaches to getting it done. It is in our organizational DNA.

3. We heard about how your experience in the Rising Leaders program helped you devise a solution for a meeting challenge you were experiencing. Can you share that story?  

Yes. Before learning effective meeting practices in RLP, I did not give a lot of thought to effective meeting practices. I did not know what I did not know. I am so grateful for the insights gleaned from the program. Simple practices such as having a meeting agenda that includes estimated time limits; assigning roles and responsibilities; sending out materials in advance, and offering teleconference and virtual options have earned me a reputation for holding effective meetings. In addition, I have been able to estimate the cost of the meeting by using a free calculator offered by Harvard Business Review. So far, I have saved over $10,000 in meeting-related costs over the course of one and a half years. The ability to quantify the cost savings has helped substantiate the value of being thoughtful regarding meeting management.

4. We understand that the DiSC assessment provided you with a strategy that helped in your family in a serendipitous way. We would love to hear how.

Of course. In the past, my teenage son and I had communication challenges. Often, I would deliver instruction or directive and there would not be any follow up. As you can expect, this caused some stress. I finally had a light bulb moment and decided to use my knowledge of personality styles to help with this matter. At its core DiSC profiling teaches you to play to others preferred styles. I took advantage of my son’s affinity for texting. Since the verbal communications seemed to be ineffective, I implemented the use of the cell phone technology that tracks important obligations and used the text message feature to send reminders and deliver directives. Ultimately this improved our communication and the outcome resulted in an increase of follow up. It is very important to consider the strengths of others and capitalize on them rather than spending time trying to build up weaknesses. 

In response to increasing demand for high-impact professional development opportunities in our region, and in no small thanks to leadership from Rising Leaders champions TD Bank, The Careerstone Group, the Crimsonbridge Foundation, the World Bank and Wells Fargo, we are proud to announce the expansion of our Rising Leaders cohort for 2020. As of February 18, we are accepting registrations for a second cohort of Rising Leaders for 2020. Details and registration are available here: https://lgwdc.org/rising-leaders


Leaders on the Rise - Joi Moorer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority