Haden Land: Tech’s Proverbial Everyman
Here’s a phrase for your next job interview: “hombre orquestra.”
Translated literally to “one-man orchestra,” the title is given to the one who can do everything, the omnivorous learner, the task annihilator. This what you would call the “hombre orquestra.”
Though the staff at Lockheed Martin Corporation just call this person Haden Land, vice president of research and technology at Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions.
If you ever get a chance to ask him what goes into that title, be ready to be writing for a while.
A half page of single-spaced, 12-point font notes touches briefly on just a few Land’s major projects: drive Lockheed Martin Corporation’s tech-centered initiatives like cloud computing and big-data research and use the work to build better solutions to fortify the company’s expanding commercial presence. While he’s looking over sophisticated information technology products, he might be figuring out when he will coordinate meetings between cybersecurity teams in the United Kingdom and Australia as well as domestically, groups working to enhance the company’s status as a lead U.S. security contractor.
Those are all happening when Land isn’t delivering a keynote address at tech education conferences or attending meetings with the three post-secondary schools he helps lead as a board member.
Yet, qualifications not withstanding, it may have been a bit of a non sequitur to see him installed as a leader at Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC). While the “hombre orquestra” is a natural fit to help lead HITEC’s mission of enhancing the talent pool of tech industry candidates, the name Haden Land seems like less of an obvious pick given the strong Hispanic presence on the board.
However, Land stands at the intersection of two family bloodlines, the Land lineage, which hails from the Virginia mountains, and the Villa tree, originally of Catalina, Spain, with ancestry serving under King Ferdinand in the early 1800s.
Land’s predecessors continued to find themselves at pivotal points in history. His father worked calculating trajectories for the Apollo missions.
“Growing up, it was hard not to get excited for my dad, who was this mad rocket scientist,” Land said, explaining his early interest in science.
Yet, Land asserts he was a “cool nerd … a weight lifter who liked sports, math and numbers.”
Land says his mother also played a key role in his becoming a versatile leader by encouraging him to remain true to his creative interests.
That M.O. has come to define much of his mission as a leader in the technology industry and a key voice in tech education. As a keynote speaker for “Project Lead the Way,” Land issued two demands: that educators deliver 40 million more science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEM, graduates and also to expand the initiative to include art.
“That’s the value of our nation,” Land said. “In China, you have 70 percent of the workforce that’s STEM, and they’re very analytical but very uncreative.
“If you can combine that ability to think convergently and divergently, you have the way of the future.”
The last part of Land’s vision of the future is maximum Hispanic inclusion in both the classroom and the workplace, a position that’s based less on romantic ideas of diversity than it is on raw facts.
“We need to make sure there are icons and individuals Hispanics can relate to,” Hand said, adding he’s actively coaching senior leadership within Lockheed Martin Corporation to appreciate the nuances particular to the culture.
And with Hispanic college enrollment outpacing the number of white high school graduates in 2012 according to the Pew Research Center, Land said the subsequent steps are obvious. More educated people are needed to build the tech industries of the future, and Hispanics are becoming an increasing share of the educated class.
“Many companies know if we’re going to move this STEM needle, we need to do it with large proportions of the population,” he said. “If these numbers are going to move, we need to engage the Hispanic population.”