In 2009, while I was serving as the vice president of supply chain management at L3 Communications, the U.S. Armed Forces asked us to accelerate deployment of a new aircraft that would provide tremendous protection to troops overseas. Because this aircraft was being designed and built with the ability to save lives, each day of delay could mean the deaths of our men and women who serve. In the months after receiving that assignment, L3 became the single most focused organization I have ever seen. Everyone, from the CEO down, committed everything he or she could to expedite the process. Company badges, titles, civilian/military distinctions—none of this mattered. Everyone was aligned, engaged, and innovating to ...

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