The Secret to Amplifying Your Impact

On my LinkedIn page, I posted an update inspired by the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth. Motivated by the response I received, I wanted to explore this topic further in my first blog post!

No matter what job title is listed on my email signature, I’m an engineer by training and at heart. You can imagine my surprise, as I was reading Grit, when I came across these equations I’d like to share with you:

Achievement = Skill * Effort   (Eq1)

Skill = Talent * Effort   (Eq2)

Combine both equations, and you arrive at a formula that is the subject of today’s post:

Achievement = Talent * (Effort)^2   (Eq3)

Duckworth adeptly refers to this as “Effort counts twice.”

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Culture and Values: More than Wall Décor

If I knew 10 years ago, the power of an engaged workforce and a living, breathing culture and set of values to influence the success of an organization, I’d have prioritized them above all else back then.

In recent years, I have worked with my leadership team and employees across the board, to define Mercury’s culture and core values and subsequently, to bring them to life, make them more than just wall decor. We’ve simplified them, and in return made them more achievable and more meaningful. We have woven them into the fabric of our business through our commitment to lifelong learning, employee engagement and baking them into our strategic operating plan. But we could not stop there. We’ve also made them measurable by aligning them to our personal contributions in our quarterly performance evaluations and by asking employees to rate the organization against them in a recent culture survey.

Teamwork, Execution & Communication

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Deploying commercial technologies quickly to keep up with the speed of threats

At the end of last year, I had the privilege of attending the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, CA. One of the topics that caught my attention was around the DoD’s new modernization strategy and how it would build off the upcoming National Defense Strategy to align DoD labs and innovation centers. According to Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L), the goal is, in this time of constrained budgets, “…to have a very tight strategy that makes choices and makes sure we are taking all of our resources, all of our funding and aligning those.”

Basically, the end game is about deploying innovation more quickly to keep up with the speed at which threats are evolving. How do we take the rapidly advancing commercial technologies and transform them into much-needed capabilities for our warfighters? The cycle time – how long it takes from identification to fielding a solution for a need – takes way too long. To address this, Mercury has pioneered a next-generation business model for defense electronics. We leverage and build upon other high-technology firms substantial R&D investments. Mercury alone invests 13% of its revenue annually on internally funded innovation. We typically operate under firm fixed-price contracts with a major focus on efficiency and best value. Also, given the needs of the defense industry we emphasize ruggedization, security, trusted manufacturing and longevity of supply.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, take a read of our latest whitepaper, “A Next Generation Business Model: Bridging The Gap In Support Of The Defense Industry.

 

Mark Aslett, President & CEO