The Success Story of Henry Ford

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The Success Story of Henry Ford

Henry Ford’s contribution as a leader can be best summed up by the following quote: “I will build a motorcar for the great multitude,” (Brainy, 2001). He didn’t invent the assembly line; he innovated it. He enabled cars to be manufactured at a lower cost so that the average person could purchase one rather than just the rich. With this goal in mind, 55% of all cars at the time were Henry’s Model T (Interesting, 2008). This revolutionized the automobile industry.

On July 30, 1863 William and Mary Ford gave birth to their first of six children, Henry Ford. Ford grew up on a family farm in a house built by his father in Springwells Township, Michigan. Ford’s mother died when he was twelve while giving birth, causing him to become very depressed. His father wanted him to take over the family farm over the course of time but he declined, telling his father that he loved the farm just because his mother was there. At the young age of fifteen, Ford attained the status of watch repairman by taking apart and putting back together the pocket watches of neighbors and friends several times, starting when he was thirteen years old. Although Ford did not like working on the farm, he did learn that there was great value in working hard and being responsible.

Ford's adulthood began at age 16 when he moved away from his father and siblings to the city of Detroit. Due to the death of his mother, Henry moved away to pursue his interest in mechanics. He would return sometimes to help out on the farm because part of him desired the farm life and the other yearned for the mechanist lifestyle. He arrived at Detroit in 1879 and began working for the Flower Brothers Company. The Flower Brothers shop made brass and iron; Ford was an apprentice and worked on a small milling machine shaping brass valves. Within nine months, Ford left the shop to Detroit Dry Dock Company, the largest shipbuilding factory in the city, with the...
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