November 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 7 
Special Features

Charting your own career development course

Boeing's Leadership Center launched the Waypoint Project five years ago to explore how leaders grow and develop during their careers, and to see if certain events or people ("waypoints") positively affect professional development. More than 100 Boeing leaders are "co-explorers" on this project, including Beanetta Roberts and Mike Stehno, featured below. For more about the Waypoint Project, go to on the Boeing internal Web.

Beanetta Roberts (right) talks to Dean Krie (left), as Donnie Smith works in the  background.Knowing the basics makes stretching possible

I know the policies and procedures, as well as how to get answers for things I don't know. That's why I'm able to stretch and move into new positions," said Beanetta Roberts, quality manager for 777 final bodying in Everett, Wash. "I like to do different things, so I have taken advantage of the many opportunities at Boeing. Changing jobs is not about getting new titles, it's about the work. I'm happy trying new things."

Starting in Commercial Airplanes' Renton, Wash., tube shop 20 years ago, Roberts has charted her own career course at Boeing. She's worked in the Wire Shop, as a mechanic and as an inspector in different areas. Roberts was a member of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751 before moving into a management position. She has also served as an internal auditor for World Headquarters. In addition to Waypoint, Roberts participates in BCA's Executive Potential (EXPO) program in the Puget Sound area, a program that identifies individuals with potential for progression to executive management and provides professional development opportunities. Participants are normally in the EXPO program for two years with evaluation and renominations occurring annually.

Mike Stehno (right), reviewing information with Phong LeComfortable outside his 'comfort zone'

I don't shy away from challenging situations," said Michael Stehno, a senior manager in the Operations area of Commercial Airplane Support in Long Beach, Calif. "The 10-plus job changes I've gone through in 19 years at Boeing have kept it interesting for me."

Joining McDonnell Douglas in 1985 straight out of college, Stehno started in production control fabrication in Torrance, Calif., and worked his way through a series of management assignments in tool control, parts fabrication and production. Stehno said he felt he became a better manager by facing some high-stress situations and dealing with some "old school" bosses (he said he tries to be opposite of that style). In addition, he was open to moving into areas that were having difficulties, rather than avoiding them.

"I'm OK with 'trial by fire,'" Stehno said. "I've never really walked into a new position that was in my comfort zone. The rewards for me are new challenges, going through the learning curves and helping the team succeed."

So is Stehno looking to rotate into a new job? "Not at the moment," he said. "But I think four to five years in one position should be the maximum before getting stale."

Lynch leads HR in Asia

Tim LynchIn May, Tim Lynch became Boeing's International Regional Human Resources leader for Asia. In this new position, he supports all Boeing employees and business entities throughout Asia, working out of the company's Beijing office.

"I feel I can support and promote the positive Boeing employee experience in this part of the world because of my work experience in Asia, understanding of cultural issues and being within the same time zone," he said.

Lynch comes to Boeing after more than five years in international HR with a top accounting firm, where he oversaw HR in four Asian offices. He was responsible for recruiting, contract negotiations, orientation, training, payroll and HR policy and procedures. He also led the implementation of a new performance appraisal system. Lynch is Boeing's second international HR representative, joining Linda Seber, who became regional HR leader for Europe in 2003.


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