“We Lead” – though simple and concise, this statement is extremely powerful. At once, it creates a strong bond to the heritage from which we came, yet sets the course for the company that we want to be. It sparks the image of a company that is progressive and proactive, acts boldly, and drives innovation. “We Lead” sends a message to every single employee that we are building a team of leaders, and that they are expected to take part. Not only is there opportunity, but there is an obligation to lead.
Leading could be taking the initiative to find a better way to process a job. Leading could be a manager setting an example for others through their actions. Leading could be looking for pathways into the future that will assure the company’s success and longevity. Leading can be laying a roadmap for others in the industry on how to grow a workforce, how to treat employees, how to be successful in an ever-changing world… how to not only achieve economic success, but to successfully integrate with community, employees and industry partners to make our world better.
“We Lead” is a catalyst. It connects the “whys” of our Core Values with the “how” of our behaviors. We call this intersection our Fundamentals, and it defines who we are as individuals, and as a company.
Our work is special. It affords the opportunity to have an impact around the world, on people we will probably never meet. Each day is an opportunity to save lives, advance society, keep our country safe, and impact those around us in some positive way. We inspire others, and become leaders, through the passion that we find in our work, our industry, and our lives.
Strive for Excellence
There is a clear distinction between “excellence” and “perfection.” Excellence might mean achieving an exacting tolerance with consistency, where perfection means to hit the same number every time. Excellence is achieved not by being perfect, but by understanding the value of both good and bad experiences, and growing personally and professionally from them. Perfection is not our goal… excellence is. It is important to know the difference.
Seek to Understand
One’s perception is their reality. Removing roadblocks and resolving an impasse can only happen if you know the “realities” of the other parties involved. Ask questions, be a great listener, and put yourself in their shoes to gain a deeper understanding before presenting your opinion. This will open the door to direct and effective problem solving.
Focus on facts, not emotions. Understand the message you need to convey at its most basic level, then communicate simply, directly, and respectfully, to solve problems face to face whenever possible.
(Rise to Challenges)
Passion + Perseverance + Innovation = Solution. Getting to “yes” does not happen by accident. It is most often the result of being Paid to Think, and combining it with passion and a great deal of Perseverance. If we can rise to our challenges as individuals, there is no limit to what we can achieve together.
Act with Integrity
Acting with a high degree of integrity in a challenging situation can be a very difficult path to take, but there is nothing that measures the character of a person, or a company, better. We build trust, and send a strong message of our style of leadership through the actions driven by our sense of integrity. If “We Lead,” then we must act with integrity at all times, regardless of the circumstance.
Respect is earned through our actions, not our words. Treat your coworkers as you would like to be treated. Treat the equipment and the facility as if it is your own. Treat our customers as you would treat your family. Our relationships with our clients, with the company, and with each other can only grow stronger when we lead with respect.
Support Each Other
We are a family, and one of our greatest responsibilities is to support one another. Sometimes the challenges that we face at work, and in life, can distract us from seeing that someone is in need. Speak up. Ask for help, and count on the company, and each other, to be there when a helping hand is required.
As high-performing individuals, most of us are wired to register something only when it goes wrong. Though this focus on continual improvement is extremely important, the incredible power of acknowledging, and showing appreciation when things go right, is game-changing. The simple yet powerful act of acknowledging and appreciating hard work, and one’s contribution to our company and culture, can change lives, and vastly impact our company for the better.
Be Accountable and Lead by Example
Leadership is earned by holding ourselves to a higher standard than anyone else ever could, and by being accountable for our actions. Take the high road, own your responsibilities, understand the KMM Vision, and live “We Lead.” It is critical to our success as individuals, and as a company.
Act Boldly and With Conviction
A great leader will make a bold decision, and then stand with conviction when facing their critics. Listen, be objective, and evaluate other opinions, but know that achieving something truly great will not come from always choosing “safe,” and breaking new ground will require inner strength and confidence to stand up to adversity. Believe in yourself, and proceed as if success is inevitable. Life is too short to live any other way.
There may not be anything more impactful to the successful long-term future of KMM than for each of us to be highly adaptable as individuals. The faster technology changes, our adaptability becomes exponentially more important. If we adjust to new situations, challenge the status quo, and innovate new solutions, we will succeed as individuals, and as a team.
Paid to Think
The goal at every level of an organization is to maximize output, and minimize waste. Realizing this goal is mostly about working smart… being Paid to Think. Make plans in order to do things the right way the first time. Understand the end goal of a project, and come up with an innovative way to get there. “Paid to think” can be applied in a multitude of ways, to every role in the company. It is up to each of us to challenge ourselves to uncover them.
Those that have learned to consciously choose how they handle the challenges that we all encounter have taken a huge step toward living the mantra of “We Lead,” and also living a happier life. Challenge yourself to choose positive over negative; your leadership skills, and those around you, will flourish if you do.
Perform Service for Others
Performing a random act of kindness for somebody can often make us feel good about ourselves, and have an exponentially greater impact on the person or the organization that is the recipient. Putting the needs of others before our own develops strong bonds within our “family” and our community.
Make it Fun
We are passionate, highly professional, and have a standard of workmanship that is second to none, but just being able to laugh a bit can lead to a change in perspective that helps to recharge the batteries. Being able to make work fun is a gift that you can give to yourself, and to those around you.
Though we may be experts in working with our machines and tools, we must do so safely, and with the highest degree of respect. Avoid distractions, maintain focus, and be mentally present when operating any equipment. Your well-being, and our success as a company, depend upon it.
Focus Intently on the Work At Hand
All of the work we perform at KMM requires our undivided attention to achieve excellence. Small missteps that occur early in a process can often surface as big problems down the line. Keep distractions to a minimum, and keep your focus sharp – excellence can only be achieved when you do.
Move with Urgency
The battle that we fight often seems to be uphill. Pricing pressures, changing customer requirements, and competition from overseas all present challenges to our business. Overcoming them requires working smart and productively implementing technology, but it is often the urgency with which we move that is our greatest opportunity, and greatest advantage. Be attentive to the urgency that is required of us all, and know that our success as a company depends upon our actions as individuals.
We Are All in Sales
Everything we do as a company leaves an impression on the customer. “Sales” may get the glory when a new order is booked, but it is the professionalism that each of us brings to our work every day that turns an order into a long-term client. Realizing that every one of us plays an important role in sales ensures growth, security, and a bright future for everyone within KMM.