2018 CEO of the Year Remarks

2018 CEO of the Year Remarks
July 30, 2018

Thank you, Stan, for that kind introduction – and for your voice and example as a leader. 

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I appreciate that warm welcome. 

It is a tremendous honor to be here with you tonight to accept the 2018 “CEO of the Year” Award. 

I stand here humbled and gratified to accept this award on behalf of the 100,000 men and women of Lockheed Martin, our Senior Leadership Team, and our Board of Directors. 

This honor is ultimately a tribute to their ingenuity, teamwork, and commitment to excellence. And as a company we all recognize that our successes today can be traced to the legacy of outstanding leaders and innovators over the past 105 years. 

So, this award is also a magnificent testament to those who have gone before us. 

Whenever I’m asked about business and leadership I like to tell students and those early in their careers, that they need to find first and foremost, a place to work that “ignites their passion.” 

They need to understand how their work and their chosen profession provides value, changes lives, and builds a better world. And I tell them – they need to love what they do and the people they work with. 

Every day the men and women of Lockheed Martin take on some of the most pressing challenges in the world – to promote security, to advance scientific understanding, and to drive human progress. 

It is my sincere privilege to lead them. 

What they achieve on land, at sea, in the air, in space, and in the cyber realm is truly extraordinary. 

They work to ensure that our company, and our country, define the cutting-edge of technological leadership and national security. 

I am deeply thankful for all they do – and what it means to the world. 

As I accept this award, I also want to thank the Chief Executive Group. This special evening would not be possible without them. 

For more than 40 years, America’s CEOs and top business leaders have turned to Chief Executive magazine. 

Over the past year, I have enjoyed getting to know editor-in-chief emeritus, J.P. Donlon, and the magazine’s new editor-in-chief, Dan Bigman. 

By highlighting outstanding leaders, and by encouraging them to talk about their successes, their failures, and what they’ve learned in business and life, Chief Executive magazine helps us reflect and understand, and to execute the jobs that only the CEO can do. 

And that’s important because the need for effective, inspiring, and authentic leadership has never been greater. 

As we look out at the world around us, it’s clear that the pace of technological change is accelerating at an exponential rate. 

The global economy is more inter-connected – and more competitive than ever before. 

And the threats to the security of peaceful nations and citizens, are complex, volatile, and far-reaching. 

In such an environment, we need strong leaders – leaders who are committed to bringing people together to meet the daunting challenges of the 21st century. 

We need leaders who set high expectations for themselves – not just in terms of vision and competence, but in how they express gratitude and exemplify civility. 

We need leaders who uphold their company’s core values in every facet of their lives. 

And we need leaders who understand how their words and actions influence not just the culture inside our companies, but the public’s broader trust in free markets, shared progress, and opportunity for all. 

As this audience knows, these are tremendous challenges for any CEO. 

That’s why it is such an honor to look out at this room as I receive this award. I see so many outstanding leaders here, some I know personally, others I have respected from afar. 

We have leaders here from across the economic spectrum – from technology to retail, from finance to communications, from academia to advanced manufacturing. 

While the details of our industries and organizations differ, the responsibilities that fall on our shoulders are remarkably similar. 

We have under our stewardship the precious talents and sincerest hopes of the men and women we lead. 

Our responsibility, then, is to set the course, create the climate, and position them to perform with excellence. 

That’s why I want to thank you all for being here to share this celebration, and for your dedication to lead in a way that lifts others up. 

The extraordinary products and outstanding companies represented here, are a reason for us to have optimism about the future ahead. 

Your achievements as leaders are also a reason for me to express my personal gratitude. Over the years, many of you have shared your advice and counsel with me. I thank you. 

I am especially grateful to have the support of my peers in the aerospace and defense industry. Though we are sometimes competitors in the marketplace, our efforts in this special industry are directed toward the same noble goal: “To keep our nation, and our customers, safe.” 

Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to recognize and thank my family. I am blessed with a gifted and supportive husband, James. And we have two wonderful sons – David and Will. 

Together, we have made decisions, taken risks, and taken on challenges that have led to this moment. 

James, David, and Will – your energy, good humor, and love are a source of constant encouragement and inspiration to me. Thank you for your invaluable and irreplaceable contributions in making this award possible and our family strong. 

Once again, I thank the Chief Executive Group for this honor. 

And I thank all of you for your support, your congratulations, and your ongoing efforts to lead with civility, gratitude, and integrity, in business, and in all that you do. 

Thank you for helping make this such a special evening.