News | Sept. 14, 2021

Leadership Spotlight: Isaac Stanley

DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs


Isaac Stanley

Director of Defense Logistics Agency Finance, DLA Disposition Services
Battle Creek, Michigan

Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Kentucky. I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance in 2002. My government career started with Defense Finance and Accounting Services just outside of Lexington, Kentucky, as an entry level processional accountant. From there, I moved to DFAS-IN to work on the Army’s Enterprise Resource Planning, General Fund Enterprise Business System. After a couple years at DFAS-IN, I accepted a job with DLA Finance, DLA Disposition Services as a staff accountant. From there, I took on more responsibilities and became the process management division chief (J8B DLA Disposition services audit readiness lead) and then moved on to become the deputy director prior to the director position. I became Department of Defense Financial Management Certified – level III in June 2015.  I am married to Brooke Stanley and we have three beautiful daughters.

Describe your job in a sentence or two. I am the senior financial advisor to DLA Disposition Services Director Mike Cannon as well as DLA Finance Chief Financial Officer John A. “Art” Hagler.

How long have you worked for the federal government including military service? 19 years

How long have you worked for DLA? 14 years

What is your favorite thing about your line of work? The people, the DLA mission and making sure those I work with understand the numbers.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given you? Know your role; to be the best, you have to beat the best; and prior proper planning prevents poor performance.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess? Accountability

How would you describe your leadership style and why has it worked so well for you? Transformative- I strive to encourage direct communication and team building while simultaneously focusing on accomplishing DLA’s strategic mission. It has worked well, as J8B has numerous conflicting priorities but is still able to deliver tasks on time. A key for this success is developing bench strength around your leaders and down the chain. I say this often, the smarter we are together, the quicker we both will reach the goal and outcome we are trying to achieve. 

Tell us how you approach change.  Assess the past and proactively navigate the future.

What keeps you motivated. The mission and the team’s success in supporting the customer.

What do you look for when evaluating top talent? Proven results and ensuring the talent understands the big picture in their role.

What do you believe is your biggest accomplishment and why? Building the best J8 team to support DLA Disposition Services’ mission. We have a mix of talent - accounting experts, system gurus and budget specialists with varying backgrounds. That diversity allows us to provide exceptional support to a unique customer in DLA Disposition Services as they provide the reverse logistics mission.

What are your best practices for achieving goals or accomplishing tasks? POAMs: Plan of Actions and Milestones. Meaning, track early and often then decrease tracking when the team is on right the track. Another best practice frequently used is frequently asked questions. FAQs ensure common knowledge is shared and documents a question if asked. The intent is to have more effective meetings, focused on outcomes.

What do you see as your biggest challenge right now? Audit, training and continuing to update processes so they have the right internal controls to mitigate risk.

What mistakes have you seen individuals make that prevent them from being successful? Trying to do the mission on their own. Folks become overwhelmed and exhausted. 

What was your first job? Providing potential customers bids with my mother on construction projects.   

Who is your hero?  My mother, as she helped mold me into who I am today.  She taught me how to talk and treat others to grow relationships. I continue to grow my network in my current role as I believe we are stronger together in DLA’s mission of Warfighter Always. 

What are your hobbies? I enjoy playing golf and making memories with my family. 

What is your favorite quote? “Sacrifices of today will lead to a better tomorrow.”