Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Competitive Advantage

We learned how to cultivate talent, our greatest resource
By William M.

In 1972, I joined RCA’s Astro Electronics Division (a Lockheed Martin heritage company), near Princeton, New Jersey. There, we built spacecraft to perform various missions from earth orbit—navigation of Navy ships, worldwide communication, earth weather observations from space, geo positioning for earth navigation.

For 23 years, I was manager of mechanical analysis, manager of mechanical test and manager of mechanical design. I supervised a group of engineers to perform these various functions by utilizing computerized methods. The size of this group varied from two to 44 engineers, and from three to five dedicated technicians. Although I achieved technical success, I am most proud of recruiting talented staff and then creating and environment in which they could excel and exceed customer expectations!

We learned the value of having a weekly group meetings. By my last week, a new manager had been appointed to replace me and he had been conducting this meeting for several weeks. I requested that he give me I5 minutes at the end of the meeting. I presented my "Ten Rules for Success in Engineering." I’ve had lots of requests for copies since I retired!