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TEAM BUILDING


Did you catch that? “Team” and “us.” Massey promotes people working together to create united synergy that each individual could not reach on their own. Still, there is balance. The Whos are not expected to join hands and form a Seussian circle singing “da-hoo dorés.”


Massey explains, “In my staff, I really like to build teams with different opinions, styles, and attributes. If I surround myself with people like me, I may not get different viewpoints and new ideas. I don’t want people afraid to challenge others. As you can imagine diversity can generate some conflict. To (ahem) balance that, I try to find people who can work well with people with different styles.”


So, what’s more important when hiring: working well with others or technical competence? “Good question. Attitude would probably tip the scale,” Massey replies. “Generally, I will focus on people’s approach, attitude, and motivating capabilities.


I will lean more


towards technical competence for positions where technical skill is critical, but it’s easier to surround a leader with a good attitude who motivates others with strong technical people. It’s not so easy the other way around.”


14 Jan/Feb 2018


JUMP IN THE POOL


With such assured and insightful answers about group dynamics, one strives to remember that Massey began as a numbers-loving engineer. He has not always been a seasoned guru of management. “Prior to five years ago, my career was engineering,” the young executive remarks. The transition from a technical engineer to an overseeing manager occurred as Massey worked within the Textron family of companies. (“Family” is apropos; even Massey’s wife is a former Textron employee. They met at a hockey game.) Upon graduating from Concordia University, Massey joined the Textron Engineering Leadership Program when he worked at Bell Helicopter’s commercial aircraft manufacturing plant in Mirabel, outside Montreal. “We early career employees were encouraged to explore three different business units for one year each in the Textron family across the globe. Three years into working at Bell (in Canada), I joined the leadership program and chose to move to Kansas. That was a big jump into the pool, not knowing if there was water in it for me.”


Rather than sink, Massey swam. He joined the Bell 525 program in its early stage. “One of the best parts of my engineering career was being part of the 525 program team. We designed that aircraft, starting with a blank sheet of paper. I was part of the 20-person team from day one. We had secret badge access and it was a lot of fun.”


Massey had more than fun; he worked hard at his assigned tasks. It’s good advice he passes on to new hires. “I tell them to make sure their feet are grounded and that they focus on executing the


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