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Leadership As A Verb In A Speach Of The Executive Officer

1526 words - 6 pages

I am truly honored to be named Executive of the Year by this prestigious organization and -- in the presence of so many outstanding leaders here today -- more than a little humbled. To be included among the highly accomplished leaders who have received this award in previous years is indeed a great privilege.The National Management Association is one of this country's great leadership assets, and I accept this honor on behalf of the 130,000 employees of the Lockheed Martin Corporation. And, considering the fact that I have been CEO of the company for all of 13 weeks now, I must say I am very encouraged by your confidence in my future prospects.I thank you very much for this singular honor. I would like to use our time together to share a few thoughts - a more personal view of leadership - based on the observations of both leaders and followers ... and ... successes and failures.Let me begin with an important architectural distinction. In my experience, there is a critical difference between leadership and management, although in our busy daily executive lives, the demands for each are often fused together in the compression of time and action.Management is primarily about dealing with complexity; the rule seems to be the more complexity we deal with, the higher our level of management. To responsibly manage complexity, a solid framework is absolutely vital: You might think of "good procedures." Structured. Thoroughly tested.Effective management is based on applying and refining good process - that's where we spend considerable time as professionals - and it is a very necessary component of the successful enterprise. Make no mistake: Conceptualizing, developing, and launching a rocket and spacecraft called "Stardust" to proceed on a 7-year, 3-billion-mile mission to intercept the comet Wild-2, traveling through our solar system at 14,000 mph, to converge on that comet within 146 miles (which is an orbital control accuracy equivalent to driving a golf ball from here in New Orleans and sinking a hole-in-one in Orlando), take photos, collect samples, and return them safely to Earth for scientific study, takes rigorous processes. As does building advanced aircraft, electronics, information systems, and everything else we all do. And it is good. Our customers expect this of us -- and this process discipline is highly valued in our executive lives.Leadership, in the alternative, is about dealing with change ... and change is only brought about by people - and people are not inspired, or energized, or motivated, by process or procedure. People move to values, vision, principles, basic beliefs about who we are. I do. You do.People will drive for change, not so much based on the "what" we do, or even the "how" we do it ... but more on the "why." We go to the comet Wild-2 with a profound sense of discovery that we can take our skills as scientists and engineers and add to the fundamental understanding of human kind: where we have been ... where we are ......

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