Bell Helicopter/Textron Spotlight

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August 30, 2017 by texasbbacareerservices

Textron blogName: E. Paul Watts
Major and Grad Year: Undergraduate, Finance, Utah State 2001; Graduate, MBA University of Texas Austin 2008
Title: Vice President of Supply Chain Management, Bell Helicopter

What is your advice to someone first starting out in the workforce?

Career paths are not always linear. Today, there are so many options that it can be difficult to know exactly what you want to do. A great way to help yourself when starting out in the workforce is to reach out to individuals and ask to be involved in various projects to get a better sense of those things you’re passionate about. I’ve also learned that simply meeting with internal and external customers not only builds the relationships necessary to be successful, but it also helps you to gain additional insights and information that often can only be gleaned from face-to-face discussions.

Tell us about the one thing you do every day to be successful.


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There seems to always be more work than hours in the day. What I try to do is focus on my critical priorities first, ensuring they are always accomplished. There is an excellent book called, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution,” by McChesney, Covey and Huling. I believe this book provides an outstanding framework for how best to identify critical objectives, prioritize those objectives and measure lead and lag indicators that indicate how well you’re progressing to reach those objectives. Using this framework has really helped me become more effective in completing the day-to-day tasks necessary to be successful.

Another valuable lesson I’ve learned is that behavior matters just as much as results. My advice? Get out of your seat and meet with people! Technology has certainly allowed us to have a new level of efficiency; however, I believe an overuse can have the opposite result.  At work, I make sure my team meets with our supplier partners in person to build better relationships that hopefully, leads to faster response times to proposal requests.

What has been the most enjoyable part of your career?

I would say it’s the relationships I’ve made that have been most enjoyable for me throughout my career. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of amazing people to accomplish a lot of amazing things.

What piece of advice would you give your 22-year-old self?

There are five main things I would tell my younger self:

  1. Be patient.
  2. Change takes time.
  3. Learning and experiences take time.
  4. Building relationships takes time.
  5. Career progression takes time.

Tell us about your favorite Textron moment .

Watching the first flight of the 505 Jet Ranger X followed by having the opportunity to fly in it a few months later. It was tremendously rewarding to work with a high-performing team to develop a concept, capture the customer/program requirements, design, prototype and test the aircraft. Then finally, fabricate and assemble an aircraft that conforms to that design. Having the opportunity to fly in the aircraft and assuming control of it is something I will never forget. One of the primary reasons I love working for Bell Helicopter and Textron are the opportunities to be a part of a team that creates and delivers exciting, advanced and remarkable products.

What do you like about working for a Textron company?

Textron is a Fortune 500 company that allows you to take your career wherever you desire. We offer internships and entry-level positions across the United States at our various business units. Whether you have an interest in a specific industry or function, there are a variety of opportunities to create your own experience, all while working for one company. One of the best things about Textron is that you do not have to know exactly what you want to do; you just need the ambition to get there.

What would you say is your top life hack ?

One of the ways I personally try to make my life easier is by taking a vacation at a location that doesn’t have access to technology. For me, this means time in the mountains, remote tropical locations or developing countries. It helps me focus on enjoying the vacation, as well as spending quality time with my family. This also helps set expectations with my team and co-workers that I’ll be unavailable, which I believe makes them feel empowered and is more efficient to ensure critical decisions are made while I’m out.



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