Posted by Huiqiang Zhao on
Monday, January 24, 2011
In the present time, CEOs of different companies are looking for sustainable success. But how can a company achieve sustainable success? Jim Albaugh, Executive VP of The Boeing Co. and President & CEO of The Boeing Commercial Airplanes, points out that the combination of leadership and innovation will get a company to where it wants to go. I, and many other SU students, faculty, staff, and alumni, had the opportunity to listen to Jim speak as part of Albers’ Executive Speaker Series.
Jim said, “As a leader, we need to inspire the organization, develop many future talented people and create an open and honest work culture.” First, leaders need to understand why employees want to work, what employees want to care about (e.g.: colleagues, company, community?) and create a collective sense of common goal. Second, in order for a company to stay competitive and innovative, that company must invest in people by looking for new talents, training these talents and retaining the talents. Throughout the years, Jim has been spending a lot of effort in building an open dialogue between the management teams and employees so that everyone is benefitting from the different opinions and ideas. Jim also points out leaders should set a good example for their employees because employees are more motivated to work with such leaders.
Another thing I learned from Jim was his comment on innovation. He made it very clear that innovation is the key for future success including Boeing. For example, Boeing continues to strike to build the best airplane in the world by its brightest people with highest quality materials. At the same time, Jim has understood that Boeing must expand from its Seattle boundary to more international destinations especially in emerging countries such as China and India.
With the challenges that Boeing is facing such as 50% of its engineers will retire in 5 to 10 years and 787 Dreamliner delay, Jim said that Boeing has developed more training programs to match young engineers with senior engineers before they leave. Also, Boeing determines to select its suppliers in a more disciplined way to ensure the supply chain and production work properly.
Finally, I think a great leader or a company should understand their strengths and weaknesses really well if they want to rise. From the speech done by Jim Albaugh, it seemed like Boeing has done it. How about you?
By (Derek) Huiqiang Zhao, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org