Leadership as a Verb In A Speach of the Executive Officer

Essay by vodkaspyCollege, Undergraduate June 2005

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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...