Assignment # 3:”Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company”
Professor Doug Earhart
Leadership and Organizational Behavior- BUS 520
Strayer University- Takoma Park Campus
1. Discuss the role of leadership and how it can impact organizational performance.
Leadership can be defined as the process where those given the role of directing are to influence and support people working in the organization to work towards pursuing the goals of the organization. According to John Maxwell, “…leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.” Depending upon the situation leaders use the different “interpersonal sources of power” to lead organization or business that they have in charge (Hellriegel/Slocum, 2011). The following sources of power represent the engine of influence that they use effectively and ethically to achieve their goals: legitimate power, reward power, coercive power, referent power, and expert power. However, true leaders are supposed to make the employees work hard by giving their efforts and making sure that the goals and the mission of the organization are achieved. To be effective every leader should have the following competencies: Vision; Integrity, Honesty and Values; Releasing Potential and Energy; and Leading Change (Planned Change and Emergent Change). These competencies are important because if one of them is missing, then we do not have a true effective leader. Without vision, a leader cannot guide the actions of his employees towards the long-term goals of the organization. Without integrity and honesty, a leader cannot inspire trust. If the values of the leader are different from those of his/her employees, trust can be broken. Releasing potential and Energy helps motivate the employees.
Without good leadership an organization would be seen to direction and will just be full of confusion as seen in music when musicians sing without harmony due to lack of a conductor.
2. Discuss Mulally’s leadership style at Ford Motor Company and provide examples of how his actions fit this style.
Mulally’s leadership style can be defined as a “decide style” based on his actions and decisions as soon as he arrived at Ford Motor Company. According to Hellriegel/Slocum, (2011), “the leader makes the decision alone and either announces or sells it to the team. The leader uses personal expertise and collects information from the team or others who can help to solve the problem. The role of the employees is clearly one of providing specific information that is requested, rather than generating or evaluation a solution”. Allan Mulally appears to have a compelling vision and desire to inspire people to go where they didn’t think they could go. Prior arriving to Ford, Mullaly’ interviewed dozen of former employees, analysts and consultants and took notes of the feedback and information they shared with him. In devising his new strategy for Ford, Mullaly drew heavily from his experience from Boeing. It is at the end of that process which is very specific to the “decide” leadership style that Mulally made his decision. Hellriegel/Slocum (2011) stated that Mulally “ devised a plan that identified specific goals for the company, created a process that moved it toward those goals and installed a management system to make sure that the company reaches those goals”.
Hellriegel/Slocum, (2011) stated that every Thursday at 8 a.m., Mulally presides over a meeting with Ford Executives from around the globe to review the company business progress. « Mulally institued color coding for reports: green for good, yellow for caution, red for problems. Managers coded all of their operations green at the first couple of meeting to show how well they were doing, but Mulally questioned them. You gys, you know we lost a few billion dollars last year, he told the group » (Hellriegel/Slocum, 2011, page 543). One day, a red indicator stood out among the green. The...
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