[Post by Chuck Krugh, April 3, 2023]
Commitment is a measure of dedication or engagement to a cause. In our case, the cause is our mission to deliver high-quality ships to our Navy so they can keep our country and families safe. There is not a better cause or mission for a company than ours. I hope you agree with me on this.
But commitment is personal. How much and how far you dedicate yourself is for you to decide. We all have to decide how much we are committed to meet our mission. Commitment isn’t always easy, in fact, it takes hard work to stay committed. Challenges to your commitment come from lots of different places – family, coworkers, the company, friends, etc.
Based on my commitment to General Dynamics and to my boss Phebe, I made the decision to take on this assignment with you here at BIW. This was not a real easy decision for me to make, and it certainly was not very popular in the Krugh family as it would require moving and putting off retirement. However, my entire family understands how important our mission has become to me: It’s deeply personal as I serve our country again – like all of you are doing. They have accepted my commitment to our mission.
This is only one aspect of my commitment. Every day when I come to work, I try to demonstrate my dedication: through every conversation, in the work that I do and when I have the honor of representing you at different occasions.
When I first came to BIW, I was already committed to General Dynamics and to our ethos of Honesty, Trust, Transparency and Alignment. These are important values that should guide our actions at work. However, I was nervous about learning a new industry.
I knew that I could learn about building ships, but how fast could I learn? I wondered how people would accept me as I was coming from a different trade background and industry. But for all the things I was nervous about, I knew that I would commit myself and work hard to learn what I needed to do the best job that I could. It’s in my nature to go all in and deeply commit.
The ways in which we do things demonstrate our level of commitment. Our attitude, our work, the care we take in doing things – these are signals to others about our commitment. People who are committed generally take a lot of pride in what they do. They perform to the highest level of their skill and get satisfaction from doing a job well. They are conscientious. They follow the policies, procedures, safety protocols and other specifications related to their work.
Why this topic? Because I’m asking each of us to examine our personal commitment to doing our jobs here at BIW to the best of our abilities. How dedicated are you to our mission of making the highest-quality ships that protect our Sailors in carrying out their commitment to our country?
Turning our company around requires each of us to commit to make it happen. I know that’s a big ask, but that’s what it will take.
As I walk around the yard and offices and talk with you, I see good things happening. I feel and see momentum building, whether it’s unit performance coming back into line with our historic performance levels (going “old school”), removing roadblocks with strong problem-solving, progress in addressing our most challenging needs, teams cooperating to find solutions, team members giving valuable suggestions – or simply a great conversation as I walk around the yard. We are slowly stitching together the improvement necessary to turn our company around. However, if we were all dedicated to making it happen, we would see even more positive changes more quickly.
I want you to check your level of commitment. If it’s not 100%, then ask yourself why not? I challenge you to dive in with me so together we can build a strong company for the future. We want BIW to be here for a long time, providing great careers to thousands of future Mainers. We owe it to our legacy, ourselves and the future. There’s no one else who can make these changes other than you and me. We have to make it happen together.
See you on the deckplates!
Safely Execute High-Quality Work
President, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works
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