It Takes a Village To Build a Jumbo Jet

Last Updated Oct 19, 2007 1:24 PM EDT

Telstar Logistics, some kind of shadowy integrated services provider as far as we can tell, maintains a fantastic employee blog even if its nearly impossible to discern what those employees actually do with all of their transportation logistics research.

This week, their ever-vigilant and astute research captain and lead blogger succinctly gleans the business lessons from a recent Wall Street Journal piece on the completion of the first service-ready Airbus A380.

The Journal's story (found here, if you have a subscription) touches on several themes familiar to a team leader:

1. Taking on a troubled and mishandled project
2. Having to pull together far-flung resources that are not working together effectively
3. Trying to speed the timetable on a project that is running behind
4. Merging two very different corporate cultures

These were among the challenges that confronted Rudiger Fuchs, a German engineer who inherited the project after it had fallen behind schedule and suffered from a cultural schism between Airbus' French and German engineers. As Telstar points out in excerpts of the Journal article, Fuchs took on these challenges with a combination of risk-taking, having the agility and confidence to change the game plan when it wasn't working, making sure his team could easily visualize progress, and, yes, having and maintaining the faith of management.