Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company
1. Discuss the role of leadership and how it can impact organizational performance.
Leadership is guiding people toward productive results to achieve the goals of the organization. An effective leader has the ability to motivate and influence others. Leadership influences organizational performance depending on the level to which the leader enables managers and team leaders to plan, organize, control, and act effectively. By accepting authority, responsibility, and accountability, managers can confidently face though situations that require decisions made. Both the manager and subordinate must know how to distinguish right from wrong by using sound judgment. Likewise, the leader must to learn his own strengths and weaknesses at work as well as his personal life and seek new professional skills. Everybody has different opinions and attitudes towards values, lifestyles, and behaviors. Thus, an effective leader will use diversity at the workplace to combat the fierce competition in the market place. Cultural diversity within the organization will only add to the company’s growth. By valuing and respecting cultural differences at work, leaders may avoid the negative stereotypes that can affect the company’s success. Leaders need to address the importance of open communications within the organization. Active listening, questioning, and placing emphasis on verbal and written communications between management and subordinates guarantees the company stays on track with the organization’s goal. Recognizing individuals and team differences will help the leader achieve a successful career with the organization. To increase managerial effectiveness and efficiency, leaders must opt to improve operations and technologies within the company. New trainings and job techniques are encouraged. 2. Discuss Mulally’s leadership style at Ford Motor Company and provide examples of how his
actions fit this style.
As soon as Mullaly arrived at Ford, he created a strategic plan with specific goals for the
company. He moved the company towards those goals and installed a management system to
make sure the company reaches those goals. He uses a Selling Style for leadership by providing
direction, open communication, and building motivation among employees. He is a successful
leader who expects the best of himself and others and seeks to understand rather than understood.
He acts as a facilitator presenting the problems to the team in a meeting and makes sure his ideas
are not favored over others simply because of his position. Mullaly also collects information
from teams who can help solve problems and decide what needs to change in the company.
3. Discuss how goal setting helped Ford improve its performance.
Mullaly’s goal of “An exciting viable Ford delivering profitable growth for all” has helped him
gain support within the organization. He wants everyone to know the plan. He is taking Ford in a
new direction by reducing the company’s dependence on light trucks as gas becomes more
expensive. Malluly’s strategy focuses on the Ford brand and the goal is to compete in every
market with carefully defined products. He has made sure that everyone knows the plan at Ford
and expects open communication from team members. There are no more secretes within the
company and Mullaly’s see problems as opportunity to change the course of action. If something
goes wrong with the plan, then Mullaly’s wants managers to change the plan. Thus, Ford has
become more efficient in identifying problems and seeking better results.
4. Assess Mulally on each element in communication openness including message transmission,
trust, agendas and goals.