Chris H. on Diverse Perspectives

Bob was a tremendous help to me in my professional career and he had a hand in a lot of personal growth. He put his faith in me at an important time in the history of Ford Aerospace, but he also did something else that I have rarely seen done – he recognized that although I had some great strengths, I also had inexperience or weaknesses in other areas. He said: “I am going to surround you with the people that you will need in order to succeed.” He did that and, although it was often two steps forward and one step back, we all succeeded. He also taught me the value of both diverse skills and differs viewpoints on large endeavors, and I’d like to think that those lessons stuck.

For the record, when he called me in to work on a Saturday to offer me the job as Superbird Program Manager, he asked me if I thought that we could deliver Superbird-A in 29 months (vs. the 43 months that business-as-usual predicted. My answer: “Honestly Bob, I have no idea. But I do know that if we do X, and Y, and Z, we can deliver it in less time than if we don’t do X, and Y, and Z.” He said, “”OK, I’ll help you do those things and we’ll take our chances”.
Thank you, Bob (and Dorothy) for a lifetime of good memories.