Tom Phillips died last month and should not be quickly forgotten. Never heard of him? Now is a good time.
His Alma Mater put up a synopsis of Tom,and I want to add thought here.
Tom took a good company called Raytheon and made it a great company. How did he do it?
“He set a good example in business, and always maintained a complete adherence to business ethics,” Picard said. “He enforced a culture that business should be honest, should be transparent.” Picard worked for him and was CEO after Phillips retired
How important is honesty and transparency? Does everyone do it naturally? Impossible. First he modeled, then he required others to follow or find a new team.
How well do our companies in China do this? My experience is we have not paid nearly enough attention to it.
Too often, we have made making money our goal and forgotten the means. This has certainly harmed our ability to make money. Long ago, I read Ken Blanchard say in Customer Mania! that money is the applause we get for serving our customers well. So, let’s run a business where we are motivating each person to come to work rather than just have a job.
Then they will be motivated to serve customers with their whole heart and we can have a much more successful business in China.
“He was a very quiet person, a very likable person. He was the kind of person you could lean on, you could trust,” Picard said
Tom Phillips is an Example We Can Follow
Phillips could demand high standards and still be a likeable guy. How many of the leaders Western customers hire or appoint can come near that standard. Why is that? Chinese people like this don’t exist? We have one who will start for a customer in 13 days. We have placed others and will do more. Some Westerners who are open to work in China can reach high like this as well. It takes a deep discerning eye and ability and commitment to background check to the real data. We do it consistently. See also The Value and Rarity of Leadership Humility.
“At this point, Tom had a sterling reputation and was already established at Raytheon as an icon,” Reppucci said. “So here I was, a young person in a meeting with a powerful young chief executive of a major firm and the president of a big university. But Tom treated me as one of three people of equal prominence. It really sticks in my mind how gracious he was toward me.”
This is really hard to find in China. Chinese are very good to their friends and relatives and people with money or position, but tend to treat others like dirt. However, there are those who have risen above the common level, and we make it our job to find them. We love placing leaders who make bosses and workers and customers glad he or she is there. Then the applause comes naturally and with no regrets.