Tucker—“Don’t Let the Future Pass You By”
Preston Tucker was man with a dream. His entrepreneurial leadership style thrust that dream into immediate action. He built the “car of tomorrow, today.” There were shortcomings, however, with Tucker’s Entrepreneurial Visionary Strategy. If Tucker had balanced his approach with key aspects of the Shared Vision Strategy, he may have succeeded in sustaining his name as a revolutionary automaker. Tucker was a risk-taker whose visionary freedom went unchecked. He showed poor decision making when he advertised more than he could deliver. His assistant, Abe, was shocked to discover that the radical car he was marketing didn’t actually exist. The prototype was yet to be manufactured. Tucker’s over-confidence was evidenced as his vision immediately expanded to manufacturing convertibles and airplanes as well. Initial market research was lacking. Tucker simply advertized the car of his dreams in a magazine and was inundated by the response. He operated on his intuition and believed everyone would want to buy the “best car ever made.” Tucker’s revolutionary rear-engine design and attention to safety features—all at an affordable price, created his niche in the market. Tucker made a fatal error in underestimating the market monopoly of the “big three” car manufacturers. With his independent drive, Tucker consulted no one. He had a sense of end-result thinking and he was confident he knew the right way to get there. Decisions were made solo every step of the way. Although he did not seek help, he validated the young engineer’s suggestions to re-design. The turning headlights that didn’t compromise either the aerodynamic style or safety concerns were accepted as an excellent modification. There were no checks and balances in place. He demonstrated his resentment of authority by not being held accountable to his board. On his own, Tucker did not have the full range of skills that was necessary to address all elements of his...
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