Gorman retired from TRW in 2001 and today remains involved as an investor in start-up companies, a mentor for up-and-coming business leaders and as a director or trustee for numerous corporate and nonprofit boards.
Success, he claims, is more than just a product of hard work. It's also a product of smart work. Here are Gorman's 10 tips for leadership success:
Have aspiration-driven goals. This is imperative. "It's easy to know where your company is and where you want to be," Gorman says. "The hard part is developing the long-term and short-term plan that will get you there."
Develop metrics. Measure everything your company does…then measure again.
Benchmark against others.
Adopt a "no excuses" mentality. "There is no acceptable excuse," Gorman says. "Do whatever it takes. You have to use every key on that piano."
Demand continuous improvement.
Make it faster cheaper, better. "But remember that it has to work," Gorman says. "TRW once made a satellite in three months and got it up…but it didn't work. Do it fast, but get it right."
Outsource wherever possible.
Hire the best people and pay them well. Good people get it done and will overcome any negatives in the structure and/or form of your business, Gorman says. Insist they be team players from Day One.
Get everybody involved. "This happens at the top and bottom, and every level in between," Gorman says. "Blend it together with buy in from everyone, and communicate it well throughout the organization."
Reward substantially for success; penalize for mistakes. "One of my biggest mistakes at TRW was staying too long with people who caused waste and couldn't help us achieve our aspiration-driven goals," Gorman admits. "Get rid of those who get in the way or your goals. Don't let them deter you."