Leading Since Day One
Kathryn Hasse has been leading Lockheed Martin’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) capture effort long before the vehicle was ever a reality. In fact, she was even involved in a market study back in 2003 when the vehicle was just a concept.
As the program has grown, Hasse’s role has grown along with it. For the last nine years, she has managed a capture team of engineers and manufacturing professionals who have designed, built and tested the JLTV.
This experience—as well as many others during her 34-year long career at Lockheed Martin—have taught Hasse a thing or two about getting teams engaged.
FIVE TIPS FOR LEADING TEAMS THROUGH TURNING AN IDEA INTO A PRODUCT
So, how can each of us become a better leader? Hasse shares her five tips for leading teams through the complex and often challenging process of turning an idea into a product:
1. Get People Involved – As the leader on the JLTV program, Hasse has the advantage that her capture team can see, touch and experience the result of their hard work. However, getting involved in the action doesn’t just mean coming out to the production line and ‘kicking the tires.’ “They also listen to members of the team who have been in combat talk about their experiences and learn how beneficial the JLTV will be.”
2. Believe in What You Are Doing – More than anything, teams can benefit from a leader who truly believes in the mission and stays focused. For Hasse, this also means not being afraid to ‘think outside the box’ and challenge conventional thinking.
3. Share the Plan – The more that a team knows about a plan, the more they can contribute. “Combining the very tangible nature of the product we have developed with focused communication of program status through walk-around management, all-hand’s meetings and working meetings has helped the team stay engaged,” she said.
4. Think About the Big Picture – As a leader, Hasse keeps this bigger picture in mind. “Our design—developed from a white sheet of paper around the needs of our warfighters and the result of many long hours and weekends by hundreds of Lockheed Martin and supplier employees—will provide our warfighters with the unprecedented protected mobility and capability they need to achieve their missions and come home safely.”
5. Take Time to Reflect and Be Proud – No job should go unrecognized, and Hasse believes in showing her gratitude. “It has been thrilling to see the development of Lockheed Martin’s JLTV go from an idea and opportunity to the production vehicle it is today,” Hasse said. “I am really proud of what the Lockheed Martin JLTV Team has accomplished.”