Mission First, People Always, Team of Teams

For Kent, a veteran and retired two-star general, working at Northrop Grumman is personal.

Throughout his 34 years serving in the Army, he used and relied on many of the products and capabilities that came from the company’s site in Plymouth, Minnesota. Today, as director of precision weapons in Armament Systems, Kent is working with those same products and capabilities in Plymouth.

When he joined the company in 2018, he brought with him from the Army a command philosophy of “mission first, people always, team of teams.”

The term “mission first” means understanding what Northrop Grumman and its leaders want Kent’s team to deliver.

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“What we’re being asked to do is strategic value creation, which is creating a new business line, leveraging existing capabilities for a pipeline of growth into the future,” he said. “We plan on accomplishing that mission.”

Meanwhile, “people always” is about understanding that success can only be achieved with the right people.

“It’s building strong teams, making sure people understand which direction they’re going in, resourcing them, developing them and appreciating them,” Kent said. “And it’s having a diverse, talented team, meaning diversity of all types, including diversity of thought to obtain the most innovative ideas.”

Finally, “team of teams” involves multiple teams collaborating to create something that no team can do on its own.
“It’s not just about your team; it’s going out to find other teams to work with to get to the best solution,” he said. “That’s the way we operate here.”

This philosophy has helped Kent and his teams define what’s possible at Northrop Grumman.

“In addition to always being a team member, what drives me in my work every day is problem-solving,” he said. “There’s something inspiring about the challenge of solving complex problems.”

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