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Monica Palko, Chief Legal & Administrative Officer of York Space Systems

‘’The best leaders are fit to the situation. Some leaders are disruptors. They need that rebellious edge, that stamina in the face of adversity and being told no. And some leaders are needed to refresh and renew and change. Great leaders can adapt to the situation. And what is needed in a leader varies greatly based upon the situation that's presented.’’ -Monica Palko on her learnings from other phenomenal leaders

Monica Palko, Chief Legal & Administrative Officer of York Space Systems in Denver, Colorado. She provides strategic and operational guidance within the C-Suite, with responsibilities that include government and commercial contracting, legal and compliance, and corporate governance.

York Space Systems, which designs and manufactures space systems, is one of the fastest-growing aerospace companies in the country. They were awarded a $382 Million dollar contract with the Department of Defense's Space Development Agency to manufacture satellites and recently received a significant investment from AEI to continue their impressive growth. Prior to York Space, Monica was the VP & General Counsel of Lockheed Martin Space and is a Director of the Global Board of the Association of Corporate Counsel which is a 45,000-member global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel.

Key Takeaways:

1. Effective leadership is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Great leaders are adaptable and understand that their leadership style should align with the specific needs and challenges of the situation. They can be disruptors in times of stagnation or catalysts for change in organizations that require renewal.

2. Founders have an incredible level of stamina in the face of rejection. What surprised Monica the most about founders starting a company was the sheer level of stamina required in the face of rejection. Many people are invested in the status quo and will push back against your ideas or may not understand your vision. As a founder, you have to keep coming back and back and have relentless stamina to make your company succeed.

3. Make Sure You Have a Seat at the Table - If you're not in the room for strategy sessions where you are truly understanding the business, it's difficult for the legal department or any other department to really offer counsel when they don't understand what's most important for the business. As part of that, it's important that senior leaders involve every department so that every group is strongly connected to the core business and what's most important.

Topics Covered:

Monica Palko: Chief Legal & Administrative Officer of York Space Systems 0:00

Monica’s Background in Aerospace 1:06

The Transition from Corporate Responsibility to Aerospace 6:11

The Importance of Evaluating Opportunities 7:56

Embracing Career Mobility 9:33

Lessons from Good, Bad, and Situational Leaders 10:53

Role and Priorities as the Chief Legal and Administrative Officer 15:03

Practical Approaches to Thinking Bigger in Leadership 17:26

Benefits and Significance of In-person Collaboration and Idea-sharing among Executive Teams in Driving Organizational Success 19:15

Factors that are Driving the Recent Surge in Attention and Growth in the Space Industry 20:38

Predictions for the Future of the Space Industry 22:24

Maintain Speed and Agility in the Commercial Space Sector 25:48

Maintaining a High Level of Focus and Agility within the Team 28:04

Favorite Resources that are Helpful in Monica’s career 31:00

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