Among the many crackpot theories that have taken root in popular culture is the belief that defense contractor Lockheed Martin has undue influence over the deliberations of the federal government. I can tell you from watching the Bethesda-based behemoth up close for 20 years that company executives seldom feel that way. However, if you’re looking for evidence to fill out your conspiracy theory, the Pentagon’s fiscal 2013 budget request won’t disappoint because it positions Lockheed to be the dominant global military supplier for a generation to come. No kidding, it will be the leading source of fighter aircraft, airlifters, naval electronics, missile defense, space systems, cyber-security solutions and a dozen other key product lines for decades. The secret to Lockheed’s success is that America’s biggest defense company is also the best run, with a corporate culture that rewards execution, teamwork and (believe it or not) ethics. I have written a commentary for AOL Defense here.
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