Executive Profile: Rocky Cintron
Rocky Cintron is president and CEO of Force 3, which
delivers, supports and maintains IT products and implementation services—such as
unified communications, security and data center—for federal agencies and their
partners. It is recognized as one of the fastest growing federal IT solutions
providers in the mid-Atlantic region and is one of Cisco's top five federal
Cisco Gold Partners in America.
Rocky Cintron, CEO and president of Force 3, started the company in 1991 with
a deep respect for the mission and vision of the military and the Department of
Defense. Cintron’s father served in the Army and Cintron, a self-described “Army
brat,” was born in Fort Meade, Md., with the National Security Administration
right in his backyard—almost literally.
“I have a passion for the Department of Defense,” says Cintron. “Supporting
them is a noble effort, which you realize when you see them out there risking
Because of his personal background, Cintron had an understanding of the
unique challenges that come with serving the military-industrial sector that
many other contractors struggle to achieve. “There are things you cannot talk
about in support of mission, so there is a very small group of people who can
help these clients solve their issues, often for initiatives that have national
impact,” says Cintron.
Because of that, Force 3 has a key ongoing challenge—attracting and retaining
talent, and mentoring the next crop of leaders. Cintron recognized that Force3
had some high-potential leaders who needed to develop their leadership skills
for maximum effectiveness in their roles.
Cintron worked with Hugh Courtney, the Smith School’s vice dean of programs,
and Jeff Kudisch, Distinguished Tyser Teaching Fellow in management and
organization, to design a classroom program that would bring together a group of
Force 3 executives for an intensive three-day custom learning experience. “They
put a lot of upfront effort into our curriculum—they asked the right questions
and took the time to really learn about us as a company and our needs. There was
a great connection and really good communication,” says Cintron.
The group read “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and had classes and strategy
discussions led by Kudisch and other Smith faculty. “Many people told me it was
the best class they’d ever taken,” says Cintron. “They talked about Force 3’s
vision, about getting the right people onto the bus and making sure that the
right people were in the right seats.”
When Force 3 brought back the Smith School for a second year of training,
part of the three-day program included a walking tour of the battlefields of
Gettysburg, in cooperation with the Gettysburg Foundation. It was a powerful
experience. “People came away from it with the realization that whether or not
people will follow you depends on your leadership style and the relationships
you have,” says Cintron.
The class members have formed strong bonds with one another, and that has
brought some surprising and very welcome side effects. “The back office staff
does not ordinarily work with sales and marketing, so they might not have gotten
to know each other, otherwise,” says Cintron. “But now when there’s an issue,
they have a better relationship. They see each other as partners in solving the
problem. It’s not just ‘me and my department.’ It’s about the entire
organization, and how we can have an impact.”
The group will begin planning Smith’s third year of leadership development
with Force 3 this fall.
For more information about the Smith School’s custom options for executive
education, please contact Greg Hanifee.