The Wings Up Way

I introduced The Wings Up Way to you earlier this semester, and for the next few weeks, I want to walk through my thoughts on each of the seven principles.

Someone asked me recently why I chose this semester to introduce these principles and why these seven points. Because in a time of external influences and stress, it forces you to look seriously at what you are really about.

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For almost two years we’ve been faced with a lot of confounding questions and issues, but fundamentally the answers came by identifying, based on all we know, what’s the best thing for students. That’s what Tennessee Tech has always been about. That’s why the institution was founded. It was about students. It was about community. It was about serving people.

Now we’re not perfect at it, but most people at Tech will go out of their way to help somebody else. They will go out of their way to say, okay, I’m not sure the best way to do this, but let me guide you.

The Wings Up Way also is a reminder if you are ever tempted to slip a little bit and say, well maybe I don’t have to work that hard, maybe I can let this one go. If you’re staring at this set of core principles you can say, oh, no, that’s not the Wings Up Way. So, let’s look at the first principle.

We will always put people over process.

This one puts the responsibility on each of us to live up to it. Process is important; I’m not diminishing process. Process helps guide you and helps keep the trains running on time. But I’ve been around this business long enough to know that you cannot write a perfect policy because there is no such thing. Policy should guide us always, and process built on that policy should be very helpful to make sure that we’re not making crazy mistakes and leaving somebody out. But ultimately, it’s about helping one person at a time.

I encourage you to ask questions if you see a policy that seems to create a barrier to putting a person’s needs first. Most often, together we find a solution that really is The Wings Up Way.

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