Leadership - The Boeing Company

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Leadership - The Boeing Company Powered By Docstoc

That’s how we grow
                                                                                                          At the Boeing leadership Cen-
                                                                                                          ter near St. louis, people from
                                                                                                          around Boeing come to learn,
                                                                                                          understand, challenge and
                                                                                                          share ideas.
                                                                                                          BoB FERGuSoN PHoTo

                                                                            All around Boeing, the company’s leaders—including many
Better leaders make for better                                          without the formal “manager” title—are modeling the company’s
                                                                        leadership attributes (see box on Page 15). These attributes help em-
companies; here’s why Boeing                                            ployees and their teammates grow personally and professionally. The
                                                                        attributes also help explain why leadership is linked to employee en-
stresses leaders teaching leaders                                       gagement, an environment that values employee ideas and contribu-
                                                                        tions—and continued growth for Boeing.
By roBert sterling                                                          “Leadership development truly is about living the attributes and
                                                                        opening up our culture across the company,” said Julie-Ellen Acosta,

       ontinuous improvement is critical to increasing Boeing’s         vice president of Leadership Development. “The goal of every lead-
       competitiveness. That includes continuous improvement in         er must be to create an atmosphere that gives all employees the
       leadership skills; in alignment with the company’s shared        chance to make a difference. That’s how people grow, and that’s
sense of purpose and values; and in how readily the people of           why they’ll choose to remain with Boeing.”
Boeing transfer best practices and lessons learned, said Chairman,          The challenge, Acosta said, is ensuring this happens at every
President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney.                     level. “Developing leaders requires a deliberate, one-company ap-
   “One of Boeing’s greatest advantages is its intellectual scale—the   proach, one that involves alignment and a lot of creativity with in-
broad and deep range of experience that employees bring to the table.   put from all areas of the company,” she said. “It also must have
Among our challenges is to figure out how to mine those ideas and       complete commitment from the top—and we do. Our senior lead-
that expertise, apply them wherever they make the most sense across     ership believes developing people is one of the most important jobs
the entire company, and develop better leaders in the process,” he      we have, and they’re as much a part of that as anyone.”
has said.                                                                   “When customers select our products and services, they choose

                                                                                                  August 2007 BOEING FRONTIERS
                                                                                                                      n COVER STORY

the innovation, design and craftsmanship of our people,” said Rick
Stephens, senior vice president, Human Resources and Administra-
tion. “The critical element is leadership—and the environment that
                                                                                  Leadership, in six points
leaders create for people. Leadership distinguishes us from other                 Here are the six Boeing leadership attributes.
organizations.”                                                                   A Boeing leader
    Stephens said that leaders must understand and use the tools avail-
able for assessing, developing and evaluating people. These are key te-           • Charts the course.              • Finds a way.
nets of the Boeing Leadership Model that are reinforced in the key HR             • Sets high expectations.         • Lives the Boeing values.
processes and that hold leaders accountable for their performance.
    “It’s important to understand our strengths as well as opportu-               • Inspires others.                • Delivers results.
nities where we can improve,” Stephens said. “A successful leader
must engage in discussions around difficult issues—such as an at-
tribute where an individual may not be strong—yet come across as
inspiring to help that person continually grow. We need to push our-
selves to build an environment for success and longevity where ev-
eryone benefits.”

    The confluence of three rivers—the Illinois, Missouri and Mis-
sissippi—is a fitting spot for the Boeing Leadership Center. At this
location near St. Louis, leaders from across the company can come
together to learn, understand, challenge and share ideas.
    The BLC offers core leadership development and functional ex-
cellence programs that are constantly reviewed and updated as nec-
essary with input from all the business units and functions. Leaders,
at every level, spend from a week to nine days building leadership
skills through simulations, action learning and discussions.
    The power of the BLC, Acosta said, is rooted in its teaching
methodology: Leaders Teaching Leaders. The methodology literally
means senior leaders are the teachers who share their challenges and
experiences with participants. LTL also occurs outside of the BLC,
through activities such as mentoring and informal leadership devel-
opment discussions.
    “LTL asks our senior leaders to participate as teachers, and that
includes even our CEO. We’re not talking professional, academic fa-
cilitators. LTL speakers are assessed and held accountable for how
effectively they teach, and the expectations for these teachers are            Julie Acosta, vice president, leadership Development, teaches
very high,” Acosta said.                                                       a group of senior managers in a leaders Teaching leaders ses-
                                                                               sion recently at the Boeing leadership Center. Acosta engaged
    Topics range from external to internal business challenges to dis-
                                                                               participants around living the attributes while reinforcing how
cussions of the leadership attributes and the Boeing Management and            strong leadership and employee engagement are paramount in
Leadership models. Participants grapple with real-life Boeing prob-            opening the culture to drive growth and productivity..
lems and chart the course toward a solution the company can act                BoB FERGuSoN PHoTo

upon, dispelling the notion that learning has to preclude working.
    The overall goal, Acosta said, is to develop leaders faster and drive     tems’ Mark McGraw and Commercial Airplanes’ Beverly Wyse,
a consistent, one-company message across all business units. It also          both vice presidents on the 767 Tanker Program, brought together
opens the culture throughout the company and brings Boeing closer             their teams for a week-long meeting at the BLC. The main purpose
together. “We’re working to bring the BLC experience to various re-           was to build team unity, air out frustrations and learn from one an-
gions, allowing more people access to the programs,” Acosta added.            other to make the tanker program a success. McGraw said the team
    While most people associate the BLC with curriculum-based pro-            left with renewed energy, confident and determined.
grams, it’s becoming much more. Recently, Integrated Defense Sys-                 “BCA wanted to learn about working with the military, and IDS
                                                                              wanted to learn about BCA processes. We found IDS’ perception
                                                                              of themselves matched BCA’s and vice versa. This brought us clos-
                                                                              er together discussing our differences and our common ground,
It’s our future                                                               something the BLC naturally fosters, since meetings are not frag-
Actions cited in this story show how employees are applying concepts of the   mented like at a hotel and the atmosphere is about leadership. I’d
Boeing Management Model to support the company’s business strategies.         encourage other programs to do the same,” McGraw said.
Here’s how.
                                                                              LEADERS AND THE ATTRIBUTES
• Leadership: Employees model the Boeing leadership attributes.                  Walt Ketts, a senior manager, Program Support, IDS General
To learn more about the Management Model, visit http://bmm.web.boeing.        Procurement in St. Louis, has his hands full with his job and a
com on the Boeing intranet.                                                   multifunctional team of 32. Thus, developing his leadership skills
                                                                              around the leadership attributes has proved invaluable. “Much of

BOEING FRONTIERS August 2007                                                                                                                     

my time is spent helping guide, inspire and set the direction,” he said.            direction Boeing is trying to go. “It’s a consistent and common mes-
    “I think the leadership attributes are a well-integrated set of                 sage they can follow,” he said. “It’s not just about finding a way. It’s
principles that can be applied to any situation you can encounter at                about promises made, promise kept; that’s resonated with the team.”
work,” said John Tracy, senior vice president of Engineering, Op-                      Ketts also uses his weekly report to stay connected to his counter-
erations & Technology. “You can find a lot of answers right there if                parts in BCA and break traditional barriers that might have separat-
you dig into them and make them a part of your leadership style.”                   ed them in the past. “As part of the Global Sourcing [companywide
    All managers and executives will be measured against the                        growth and productivity] initiative, I share my reports with my BCA
Boeing leadership attributes in 2007, and that metric will factor                   colleagues to identify opportunities to leverage Boeing’s scale and
into compensation decisions during Salary Review in 2008.                           ensure we speak to our suppliers in one voice. It makes a difference
    To help the team truly understand and live the attributes, Ketts                when Boeing presents itself as one company to a supplier.”
has developed some unique tactics. “My status report meeting is a
good example,” he said. “I have each attribute listed with the issues               MORE CHANCES FOR GROWTH
where we’ve performed well and where we still need to improve. As                      While it’s true that opening the culture and developing leaders
a team, we stay on top of all aspects and have robust discussions.”                 with greater velocity is a mandate to those in management, overall
    Ketts said modeling the attributes and discussing them helps the                success is about engaging and growing all employees. Indeed, the
team stay focused, pull together the big picture and understand the                 leadership attributes apply to everyone, regardless of title.

  Model behavior
  People across Boeing demonstrate how the leadership attributes transcend job titles
  Nonmanagement team leads are making a difference all across Boeing through modeling the leadership attributes. Their actions remind
  everyone that leadership is about action, not about title. Here’s a look at some of these individuals.

  Nhan Pham
  Global Partners
  Commercial Airplanes
  Renton, Wash.
  Nhan Pham leads by example, and his teammates and customers know
  what they get each day he comes to work. Pham believes in owning the
  Pham serves as a project manager who works with the 737 program on
  work transfers and kitting strategies. Pham is not a manager, but that
  doesn’t prevent him from leading and setting examples. “My role is to
  see people stay focused and to ensure we stay on course, and I lead
  by example,” Pham said. “I do my best to foster openness. Everybody’s
  input is of value.”
  Pham works with peers and many suppliers, with the goal of bringing
  everyone together. For starters, he believes it all begins with basic lead-
  ership, coming to work on time and giving the best effort possible.
  “It’s doing what you say you’re going to do, and that lends itself to
  stability, credibility and reliability—overall trust,” he said. “It’s important
  to deliver results or at least do what you say.”
  A big part of Pham’s responsibility is to inspire others, including sup-
  pliers, in what he called “setting a positive influence to drive a path
  towards what is best for Boeing.” Pham said that requires compiling
  facts and charting a course that takes supplier input into account. In the
  end, it often helps suppliers understand their role and why it’s critical
  they’re lean and more productive.
  “Things progress well if you truly own the attributes,” he said. “Not only          Nhan Pham, a project manager in Commercial Airplanes
  do they help you to lead more effectively, but they make you better at              Global Partners, said he believes that the key to successful
  what you do.”                                                                       leadership is to take personal ownership of the Boeing lead-
                                                                                      ership attributes.
                                                                                      Will WANTz PHoTo

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                                                                                                                   n COVER STORY

Sue Ackerman
Global Partners
Commercial Airplanes
Everett, Wash.
No one would question Sue Ackerman’s leadership skills. She’s held differ-
ent positions, including a recent role as the Program Management Leader
on the 747-8. She has never held a management title, but her actions
demonstrate leadership.
Ackerman has had many customers, but one of her major roles is to project
manage the 747 Working Together Team, which includes 20 key suppliers
and Boeing leaders as team members. That means helping to bring to-
gether the 747 program members and suppliers to build unity and embrace
Boeing’s strategic direction.
“We charted a course and inspired the members of the team,” she said.
“In some ways, it involved tearing down barriers to build relationships and
work together as one team. In the process, we engaged in open and honest
dialogue. This included bringing suppliers together that might have been
competitors in the past.”
In the end, Ackerman credited her manager and the job experience for
helping expand her scope. “You have to get out of your comfort zone and
grow. If you’re not willing to do that, your opportunities will be limited.”

                                                                                Sue Ackerman (right), program management leader for 747-8
Oscar Portillo and Steve Richard                                                Global Partners, discusses topics with Gary Desilet, 747-8
B-1 program team leads                                                          Global Partners Fuselage integrated Product Team lead, during
                                                                                a recent staff meeting.
Integrated Defense Systems                                                      GAil HANuSA PHoTo

Long Beach, Calif.
Oscar Portillo and Steve Richard are leaders in every sense of the word
despite not holding the title of manager. As team leads, they work with
teammates daily in coaching and advisement roles and foster an open
environment, building trust and commitment.
“I always follow through on issues no matter what,” Portillo said. “When
I’ve said I’m going to do something, I take action.”
As part of this, Portillo conducts weekly meetings to discuss “hot-button
“This is a chance to allow the team to candidly share feedback about any
issue that’s of concern,” he said. “Hot-button issues go on our SharePoint
Web site as action items that we can track and ensure they’re being ad-
Both Richard and Portillo acknowledge the challenges of leading, par-
ticularly without an official title. But neither makes an excuse and both
understand that it’s the actions they take that affect others.
“I’ve had some rough times being a leader,” Portillo said. “You don’t just
show up and expect people to listen to you. You have to earn that trust and
give people a reason to believe in you. In our meetings, I make it a point to
encourage everyone to lead and take charge. Everyone’s input counts, and
I want to make sure they know it. Leading takes commitment, that’s for
                                                                                Neither Steven Richard (left) nor oscar Portillo, team leads on
                                                                                the B-1 program in long Beach, Calif., holds a management
                                                                                title. But both embrace the leadership attributes and have a
                                                                                keen interest in helping their colleagues, and themselves, to
                                                                                grow and be successful.
                                                                                kEN GRAEB PHoTo

BOEING FRONTIERS August 2007                                                                                                                      

Attendees at a recent leaders Teaching leaders session at the Boeing leadership Cen-
ter listen intently. The lTl course reflects the philosophy at Boeing of company leaders
teaching employees.

For more learning                                                                Understandably, leadership development might seem to affect
                                                                             only Boeing managers and executives. The good news, Acosta
The Boeing intranet offers employees multiple resources for leadership       said, is that the BLC will begin offering opportunities to non-
development. Here’s a sample of what’s available.                            managers in 2008. A planned leadership development program
• Boeing Education Network broadcasts (           for nonmanagement program leads is in the works. Also, a foun-
ben/ben.html) and Learning Center CD-based courses                           dational course to teach supervision for newer managers is being
( Many            designed and may also provide opportunities for nonmangers.
cover management-related topics.                                                 So what can a nonmanager do to improve his or her leadership
                                                                             skills? Quite a bit, said Jane Sharpe, a curriculum strategist within
• Development and rotation programs. These programs give em-
                                                                             Leadership Development.
ployees from all levels opportunities to learn new skills and develop
                                                                                 “All employees should assess themselves against the leadership
their capabilities.
                                                                             attributes, and the best way to do that is through frank, open dis-
                                                                             cussions with their managers,” she said. “This helps identify ar-
• Formal and informal mentoring opportunities. These opportunities can       eas that need improvement and can be part of your [Performance
help maximize employees’ leadership potential. http://globaldiversity.       Development Partnership]. Demonstrating the attributes will im-                                          prove your own job performance, and for that it doesn’t matter who
• Harvard ManageMentor. This resource covers an array of leadership          you are or what your job title reads.”
topics.              Perhaps the most important aspect, Sharpe said, is that studies
                                                                             show more than 70 percent of development takes place on the job
• Leadership attribute self-assessment. Assess yourself or ask others        and not in a classroom. Employees need to focus on activities and
to rate you.         projects around their jobs that offer a chance to develop new skills
Self_Assessment.xls                                                          and challenges. Employees should also take advantage of mentor-
• Leadership attribute suggested reading list. This list offers books that   ing, formal or informal.
support each of the six leadership attributes. http://humanresources.            Employees with questions should contact Leadership                      Development through its site on the Boeing intranet, at http://
                                                                             That page also features an expanding array of resources. n

                                                                                                      August 2007 BOEING FRONTIERS

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