One thing that is very important for the reader to understand is that Vought was a very unique company. It was probably the only true “family” corporation in the Aerospace Industry. In this case, the term “family” means that all employees, at every level, shared in the good times and bad and each felt a personal obligation to produce the best possible product.
Like any successful family , the primary tenets of success were present: good leadership, respect for the leaders and mutual accountability. Good communication, the foundation for success of any endeavor, was a hallmark of Vought operations. Executives, Managers and workers alike, knew each other and dealt with issues face-to-face. President, Vice Presidents and Directors were more likely to be seen in the working areas than to be found in the industry norm, closeted in their offices. They knew what was going on, not only by attending staff meetings and telephone calls, but by being with the people and the products.
This was reflected in the trust that Management had in the workers by investing them with authority well beyond anything that their industry contemporaries might enjoy. They worked together in a way that a caring family does. On occasion, a worker might even air his views with the Chairman of the Board of the Corporation. While this was an infrequent occurrence, it was possible at Vought , an event most unlikely to take place in any other major corporation. This is what made the products successful and the employees happy, from top to bottom.
One of the primary information gathering devices for preparing the Vought history was to interview the Vought veterans. To the man, from Chairman of the Board to workers at all levels, they testified that the element of their employment they enjoyed and missed the most was the “family.”