Top 40 Under 40: Lawrence Harting

Dec. 3, 2014


Lawrence Harting says he’s committed to his core leadership values. As a consummate professional executive, Harting embodies diverse management success; possesses a proven track record consistent in on-time, on-budget delivery; has a flair for problem solving and an intuitive eye for customer service. A quick-study capable of knowing innately the mechanics of complex negotiations and organizations, ever-recording deliverables for deviations from quality standards and gauging processes for efficiency levels, needed overhaul and redesign, planning for the inevitable and the unforeseen risk and implementing the risk response, directing the team executing the task and training the future ranks, knowing customers, customer deliverables and how to deliver them. Harting has been the general manager/vice president of Flight Operations at Elliott Aviation since October 2013. In this role, he leads, develops, implements, manages and oversees the flight operations of all branch departments in order to deliver “Best in Class” customer service and to ensure the profitability, viability and integrity of the Eden Prairie facility and the company. Prior to this, he served as Master Scheduler then Director of Operations for Dassault Aviation.

Why did you select aviation as a career?

Prior to graduating collage I had the opportunity to do technical translation for Dassault Aviation.  In so doing I was exposed to an environment brimming over with educational, analytical, management, administration and leadership opportunity, an environment changing and growing at the speed of light.  I knew very quickly that the magnitude and diversity of opportunity in our industry was one that few other careers could compete with and thus this opportunistic focus formed the foundation of my business aviation career decision.

What advice from a mentor helped you the most in your career?

At a collegiate age my father taught me an acronym which I live by today: MBWA, or management by walking around.  I know no better way to acquaint oneself with a workforce, an operation, traffic flow, needs, bottlenecks, inefficiencies and potential improvements.  I know no better way gain the confidence and trust of an individual than getting involved in this way.  I am resolved to one day have a legacy akin to my father’s, first the manager of a site, then multiple sites and one day culminating in executive directorship over an entire organization.  At the age of 33 I became a site General Manager and Vice President and my future is up to me.  My father remains my first mentor and business role model.

What is the biggest challenge you see facing aviation today?

The court of public opinion continues in certain arenas to cast aviation in a less than favorable light.  Airplanes are tools designed to make life easier and more efficient while creating time for business or leisure or both.  We in aviation stand up for what we do, continuing to value and deliver safety, quality, cost-effectiveness and time savings.

What advice would you give to others in the industry?

Stay positive, be constructive and have fun.  The enthusiasm with which we confront challenges, opportunities and adversity mirrors in the people with whom we interact.  Anything is possible with the right attitude.

What are three things we don't know about you?

When it comes to food I am a brazen epicure, when it comes to music I love the energy of a good concert experience, and when it comes to fitness I am an addict!