Lee Iacocca

Topics: Ford Mustang, Henry Ford II, Ford Motor Company Pages: 3 (872 words) Published: January 23, 2010
Leadership Summary
Many people are familiar with Lee Iacocca’s rise to power starting at the Ford Motor Company because of many well orchestrated advertising and marketing campaigns. This initial introduction was followed by extreme press exposure of his subsequent termination from Ford and at this point in time nearly everyone has heard of his almost heroic efforts to save the Chrysler Corporation from bankruptcy. What most individuals do not realize is that Iacocca was a four year student of human psychology and that his leadership style can in part, be attributed to this background. He has been proclaimed as the embodiment of an effective modern leader and a marketing mastermind of his time. Leadership Critique

Iacocca’s leadership approach was to create a passionate vision, align teams of like minded, talented individuals and give them a dream to pursue without too many limitations. Collins and Porras claim that, “The function of a leader---the one universal requirement of effective leadership---is to catalyze a clear and shared vision of the organization and to secure commitment to and vigorous pursuit of that vision.” (Collins & Porras 2001). Although he appreciated the consensus opinions and capabilities of groups in order for him to be fully informed of the subject matter, he also prided himself on the ability to make executive decisions for the company without delay. Shortly after being named president, he borrowed a very effective appraisal idea from the stockholders quarterly review system that was already in place at Ford, and developed it as a management review tool so that he could focus his team on the goals and objectives for the upcoming quarter. Not only did this structure make the team members accountable, Iacocca felt that it was, “…an effective way to remind people not to lose sight of their dreams.” (Iacocca & Novack, 1984) . Lee Iacocca provided the “psychological safety” we discussed in class our second week by allowing his...

References: Collins, J. C., & Porras, J. I. (2001). Organizational Vision and Visionary Organizations.
Erika Hayes James, and Lynn Perry Wooten. (2005). Leadership as (Un) usual:How to Display Competence in Times of Crisis. Organizational Dynamics, 34(2).
Iacocca, L., & Whitney, C. (2007). Where Have All The Leaders Gone? New York, New York: Scribner.
Iacocca, L., & Novack, W. (1984). Iacocca: An Autobiography: Lee Iacocca with William Novack. New York, New York: Bantam Books.
Kotter, J. P. (2001). Best of HBR: What Leaders Really DO. Harvard Business Review.
Thomas, T., Schermerhorn, J. R., Jr., & Dienhart, J. W. (2004). Strategic leadership of ethical behaviorin Business. Academy of Management Executive, 18(No. 2).
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