Thursday, May 17, 2007

Terry Woychowski - Executive with General Motors

I love what Terry Woychowski, an executive with General Motors -- responsible for more than 8000 engineers, said at the Daybreak conference. I copied these notes from TimSteven's blog of Granger Church who took a group from his church to his conference.

He talked in this session about change. Terry drove onto the stage in a 2007 Chevy Silverado carrying the actual 2007 Motor Trend Truck of the Year trophy. Some notable quotes from his session:
  • One year ago we reported a $10 billion loss in one quarter.
  • We had to change or die. GM did not have the universal right to exist. We had to change or we would cease to exist.
  • We had to change our processes, our systems, even some of our people. I had to let 1200 engineers go who worked for me.
  • This past year was the most difficult year in my life by far. Change is hard. And massive change is massively hard.
  • Change is inevitable. The question is whether you will change for better…or change for worse.
  • There are roadblocks between your community and God. Your job is not to move the community to God. It is, rather, to remove the roadblocks that keep them from making their way to God.
  • To change…we often need to “feel” the need deeply to be sufficiently motivated to voluntarily change.
Terry pointed to the Motor Trend trophy and said that he worked three long years to win that award. But, some day it will burn or rust or be buried. But what you do, in church work, that really matters. That will last.


goboygo said...

Terry who? do you think he did it alone? not hardly...

tsu said...

Not alone by any means but change within any organization needs to start at the top with leaders willing to lead by example. Effective leaders are willing to examine their own hearts and lives and motives. In the article cited by Runner Mom of 4, Terry repeatedly says, "we". That implies he doesn't believe he did it alone or deserves all the credit. It sounds like a team effort.

Asha said...

Interesting to know.

Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled. Terry may talk the talk, but he does not walk the walk. GM is still full of over overpaid egomaniacs and Terry is one of them. GM will go through a second bankruptcy - at what point will Terry leave? Rather than firing 1,800 people that are actually working on the truck Terry should step down, but that won't happen... unfortunately.

Someone who really knows said...

Hey Anonymous responder, if you had any guts you'd post your name!! And if you had a clue you'd know that Terry for YEARS had the ONLY platforms that made ANY money for GM. If there had been more excellent leaders like Terry GM wouldn't be in the mess their in now!!

bemommy said...

Anonymous, Do you even know this man you speak of? I doubt it. I happen to know him personally and this is one man I am proud to say I know. He makes me a better person just by being around him. He is a man of integrity. He DOES walk the walk. I've met far too few people who live in such a way as Terry. He is a true leader. And, yes, his area was the one in GM that was profitable. His area MADE $10M while GM as a whole lost $10M. So, really GM lost $20M, but Terry's division picked up some slack. Sad to talk trash about a man who you obviously don't even know.