Full spectrum leadership.

Position::An executive view

The following excerpts are from a speech given by Robert J. Stevens, chairman, president, and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Stevens delivered the speech at the annual Leadership Excellence Summit at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, earlier this year.

Let me start by highlighting an important distinction--and that is the difference between leadership and management. Both are essential to the success of the enterprise--but they are not the same.

As Harvard expert John Kotter has argued, managers deal with complexity, they promote stability and order in the organization--structuring comprehensive processes in a consistent, predictable way. Leadership, on the other hand, is all about dealing with and, in some cases, stimulating change--charting new directions, building coalitions, and motivating people to act. And, of course, a worthy leader's goal is to drive the organization to a better place than it currently occupies.

Today's great leaders need the ability to create a vibrant culture of leadership ... to infuse in every teammate, at every point on the network, the desire and drive to excel.

Put differently, the challenge of contemporary leadership is to push authority to the front lines, so that each individual is empowered to lead in his or her domain. And that doesn't mean building an organization where everyone gets to be quarterback. It means that whatever position people play, they bring their A-game to the field--and to the team.

So, the challenge we are compelled to confront is this: How do we support our customers through a period of unprecedented and accelerating change, meeting mission-critical commitments that, in many cases, last decades while concurrently attracting the best and brightest talent as we turn over more than half the employees of our company in the next decade?

That is why, over the last few years, we've invested heavily in what we call Full Spectrum Leadership--a collective widening of the definition of what it means to be a leader at Lockheed Martin, and one of my top priorities for our company.

In our view, there are five key characteristics of full-spectrum leaders that we work to develop. First, we want people who can see beyond what is today to shape the future--creative thinkers ... intrepid explorers ... true believers in what could be. We want leaders who take the initiative ... embrace new challenges ... go after new markets ... create new products ... and leverage traditional strengths in...

To continue reading