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Principled Leadership

Friday, May 15th, 2015

By Mary Ellen Eagan

 Simmons College Seal licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Simmons_College_Seal.svg#/media/File:Simmons_College_Seal.svg


Simmons College Seal licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

This week, I had the great honor of receiving the Simmons College School of Management’s Rappaport Award as part of the Dean’s Graduate Award Ceremony and Reception. Most people outside of Boston are unfamiliar with Simmons, which has a very interesting history:  John Simmons, a wealthy clothing manufacturer in Boston, founded the college in 1899, based on the belief that women ought to live independently by offering a Liberal Arts education for undergraduate women to integrate into professional work experience.

Since 1973, the Simmons School of Management (SOM) has pursued a unique mission of educating women to be exceptional leaders. SOM rigorously educates women for success in management while also helping them acquire the knowledge, experience and confidence needed to express a more contemporary and collaborative form of workplace leadership. It is still the only accredited MBA program exclusively for women.

During the Awards Program, I was moved by the collective commitment of the graduating business school students to the following Principled Leadership Oath. I agree with Dean Minehan’s comments that financial and economic scandals would probably largely be avoided if all leaders made such commitments.

Principled Leadership Oath

As a principal leader I recognize my role in society. My purpose is to lead people and manage resources to create value that no single individual can create alone. My decisions affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my organization, today and tomorrow. 

Therefore I promise that:

  • I will manage with loyalty and care, and will not advance my personal interests at the expense of my organization or society.
  • I will understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing my conduct and that of my organization.
  • I will refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society.
  • I will respect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by my organization, and I will oppose discrimination and exploitation.
  • I will protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet.
  • I will report the performance and risks of my organization accurately and honestly.
  • I will invest in developing myself and others, helping the management profession continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity. 

In exercising my professional duties according to these principles, I recognize that my behavior must set an example of integrity, eliciting trust and esteem from those I serve. I will remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding the standards. 

This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.

Anniversaries and Recognition

Monday, May 4th, 2015

by Kurt Hellauer

This and last month mark a couple of important anniversaries for me that I thought I would write about.

Twenty-seven years ago, in May 1988, I was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve. Over the years I have experienced the ups and downs that are inevitably part of such a long endeavor and have been fortunate enough to advance to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. My success, such as it has been, would not have been possible without the support of my wife and family, something that goes without saying. Less obvious, however, is that it also would not be possible without the support of my three employers during this period. These employers have allowed me time away as required for annual military training, allowed me the time to attend unscheduled and poorly timed administrative meetings that often occur between drills, displayed patience and understanding while I took countless phone calls and emails at work – especially when I was a commander, and so on. I can’t tell you the number of times that military orders for annual training were late in coming, often just days before I would have to get on a plane overseas and my employers adjusted and adapted, usually without much complaint. There is a reason why the bulk of the generals and colonels in the reserves are either government employees with civil service protections and liberal paid military leave policies or are self-employed business owners. The cumulative demands of part-time citizen soldiers tax the patience (and pocketbooks) of private sector employers, large and small.

Another anniversary occurred last month as I marked three years with HMMH. Relatively soon after joining the firm, amid the settling in and immersion in projects and moving the family to Boston, I was reminded of the adage that you don’t realize what you don’t have when you never had it. As Mary Ellen Eagan noted in her blog posts LTC Kurt Hellauer, I had no sooner placed a contract on a house up here when the Army in its infinite wisdom saw fit to mobilize me and sent me to the Middle East for nearly a year. This was my second mobilization, the first one was for 18 months during 2003-2004 and I well know that it can be a headache for an employer that is orders of magnitude greater than my taking phone calls at work, having to duck out early for an evening meeting between drills, or having annual training dates shift with little notice because requirements had changed. Despite that, and while HMMH did not have recent experience in employing active members of the Guard and Reserves, the leadership and staff here did not miss a beat and took events in stride, matter-of-factly confronting issues as they arose. What made this mobilization a bit shocking – one is never truly shocked at being called to active duty since that is, after all, the point of having a reserve force – is that I only had about 45 days’ notice of the mobilization. The Army’s goal is to provide soldiers and employers about three to six months’ time to get affairs in order. No matter, off I went and served as called. Below is a picture of yours truly during one of his many hours spent in a passenger terminal awaiting airlift in a C-130 over the desert, something which makes for a noisy, dusty, and sweaty experience.

KMH-2015_April

Since I had worked elsewhere when I previously was mobilized and thus had a good frame of reference, I was able to quickly discern the difference between compliance with the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Act (USERRA) and actively supporting employees who are members of the Guard and Reserve, going above and beyond what the law requires. A small example of such a difference occurred midway through my time overseas when my birthday rolled around and the staff here at HMMH flooded the war zone with individual birthday cards, making me the envy of my fellow soldiers for receiving such an inordinate amount of mail. It’s one thing to “let your citizen soldier go” when duty calls, something an employer is required to do anyway. It’s another to take the time and effort to consistently maintain communications throughout the deployment and not just at the outset when emotions are still fresh. Doing so provides steady comfort and assurance that while I was gone, I was missed, my family would be looked in on and helped as needed, and that my position with the company would be waiting for me upon my return. It is a tough balance to make an employee feel wanted and missed without also making him/her feel guilty for being involuntarily mobilized and creating a scramble to reassign tasks or projects to others, creating considerable additional work and expense to the employer. Of course the primary point of USERRA and the real rub comes when the mobilization ends and it is time to reintegrate the service member back into the civilian workforce. With the experience I’d had extricating myself from work at HMMH to train up and then deploy overseas, and based on the ongoing dialogue we had maintained over the many long months, I was pretty confident my return would go smoothly and it did.

This month marks my one year anniversary of my redeployment from Jordan where I spent nine months. As my time there was drawing to a close some of my peers began actively seeking tour extensions because their employment situations back home had become tenuous. Apart from receiving a notice of divorce proceedings – something that occurs with alarming frequency during deployments – one of the saddest things a reservist can be told is that his/her replacement is working out great and there isn’t really room or desire to re-hire the reservist. It is all well and good that the law is supposed to prevent such behavior but another lesson learned long ago is that any job you have to sue to get (or keep) probably is not a job you want at the end of the day. Because my experience was so unlike that of my peers, I decided in April 2014 to nominate my supervisor for an award sponsored by the Department of Defense, Office of Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Mary Ellen Eagan was presented with of the “My Boss is a Patriot” award last September.

While the Patriot Award is for supervisors, ESGR also recognizes employers whose polices and corporate culture go above and beyond the call. Last fall, after having had time to reflect upon the entire experience, I was away at drill weekend in Virginia and took the opportunity to nominate the company for similar recognition, called the Freedom Award. This is ESGR’s highest form of recognition. The Freedom Award is presented annually after a competitive nomination and screening process. Each state chapter of the ESGR screens nominations from reservists and recommends two or three employers each year for consideration as National semi-finalists. This past weekend while again drilling – and now that I’m back it seems like these once monthly training events come around quite quickly – I learned that HMMH was selected as one of three National semi-finalists from Massachusetts, representing the 69 employers from the Commonwealth nominated during the past year. Across the country a total of 150 employers were selected from nearly 3,000 nominations. I am quite pleased to see the HMMH recognized; it is vitally important that the contributions employers (and families) of military service members not go unnoticed.

Recap on EBC Program on Energy and Environmental Affairs

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

by Stephen Barrett, LEED AP

SecretaryBeatonIMG_5408

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion organized by the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) with Matthew Beaton, the new Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs under Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.  While the Baker Administration took the reins in early January and Secretary Beaton has been on-board since day one, this panel was one of his first public appearances as he has been busy building his team and getting them up to speed.  Some in the clean energy and environmental industries had been concerned that the Baker Administration would roll back clean energy policies and environmental protections, though Beaton emphasized that the Administration was entering office with an open mind and no actions would be considered during an initial three month freeze period on any new regulations or programs.  Renewable energy advocates were happy to hear the Secretary’s announcement at the PV America Conference the previous day that the Administration would continue the Patrick Administration’s commitment of 1600 MW of solar by 2020.  Beaton was asked by the panel about another Patrick Administration proposal – the Clean Energy Standard – which would incentivize the purchase of Canadian hydropower in Massachusetts in an effort to achieve the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act goal of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.  With the proposed program out for public comment, Beaton only said that he would wait to review public comment, but that he would focus on cost-effective solutions.  The high cost of electricity in Massachusetts due to constrained supplies of natural gas elicited a lot of interest.  While everyone seems to agree that high energy costs are a burden on the economy and that increasing natural gas supply in some manner is the best short-term solution, how to deliver new supply (e.g., new or enhanced pipelines, more Liquid Natural Gas [LNG] deliveries by sea) and how much to deliver given the region’s current over-dependence on natural gas is of much debate.  Beaton did not offer a plan for avoiding price spikes next winter but said it would be a focus of his agenda in the coming months.  All in all, the evening was a welcomed introduction to the new Secretary and the start of a productive dialogue with the environmental and energy business community.

Observations from a Panel at the ACC/AAAE Design and Construction Conference in Denver

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

by Stephen Barrett

I had the pleasure of participating in a panel on how airports apply unique engineering techniques to take advantage of available resources. I started off the panel discussion by presenting information on ACRP 02-56, Developing the Airport Business Case for Renewable Energy where I described how the research will produce a ranking system which quantifies the economic, self-sustainability, and environmental benefits of renewable energy projects. These benefits include stabilizing long-term electricity costs, investing in a modernized electricity generation and distribution network to ensure reliability and resiliency, and advancing environmental initiatives to open up permitting for future development. Traci Holton, Manager of Design at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, followed up with a discussion of a variety of examples from Nashville Airport (BNA) including solar planning (which I am helping them with – thanks for the kudos Traci), to asphalt and rock reuse, to converting mulch produced through vegetation management activities into improving site stabilization and minimizing runoff. Traci also described their Geothermal Project which will utilize the constant water temperature from a large on-site quarry for heating and cooling resulting in savings to the airport from avoided natural gas use and potable water previously purchased for boiler make-up and on-site irrigation. The project is currently out-to-bid with a design-build format and requiring a minimum payback period. The last speaker was Dale Stubbs, Associate Vice President for AECOM in Atlanta, who talked about Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson’s (ATL) Green Acres Recycling Facility that is presently under development. The unique facility will be built, owned and operated by a third party contractor on 39-acres of airport property where all the airport’s waste will be delivered, sorted and managed including the use of compost for growing food that will be sold back to concessionaires. Each of these projects shows how airports can be leaders in developing innovative approaches to areas such as energy consumption and waste management that can produce a financial benefit through the efficient use of available resources.

Happy America Recycles Day 2014!

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

by Christopher Menge

recycling logo with the world

In honor of today being America Recycles Day, I put together the following tips to assist with your recycling efforts:

  1. Put your recycling bins next to your trash or near your kitchen.
  2. Remind your family members with “Can you Recycle that?” signs on your trash bins.
  3. Your cereal bags aren’t really “dirty.” Just shake them out or rinse them and then recycle! Recycle the boxes as paper, of course.
  4. Don’t throw away that greasy food container! You don’t need lots of energy-hungry hot water to recycle your greasy plastic take-out food container. Just put in a couple drops of dish soap, and with a sponge, some cold water and 15 seconds of scrubbing, you’ll have a clean container ready for the bin!
  5. Make 90% of those pizza boxes recyclable! Just use your sharp box cutter knife to cut out the greasy spot, and the rest of the box can go in the recycle bin.
  6. Quickly dress up your glass bottles for clean recycling. Just cut off the metal or plastic capsules and rings at the tops of the bottles, and put those pieces in the proper stream.

For more information on America Recycles Day, see http://americarecyclesday.org.

Happy Recycling!