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Alan Mulally Leadership Essay – Leadership Traits, Behaviors and Styles

The media and specialists have been discussing the need for a proper leadership style and techniques for more than two decades. On the other hand, leadership was not recognized until recently as a critical factor in an organization. The organizational behavior and leadership styles suited to such organizations change as mega-companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft grow.

The rise and fall of the legendary company, Kodak, offers a window into one approach to leadership. One example of a successful leadership style is that of Alan Mulally’s turnaround of Ford Motor Company. When Mulally took on the role as president and CEO of FMC, he could preserve the firm from bankruptcy and achieve the company’s greatest income in ten years (Emmons, 2015). To understand how it was done, you must look at Mulally’s personality and corporate leadership approach.

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To avert bankruptcy, it’s likely that one must be active, bright, inventive, and optimistic. Bunkley (2016) explains in the article about Mulally that he was an “energetic” person who made “quick” decisions but that his choices were examined and reconsidered (para. 12).

Furthermore, the company’s CEO accepted personal responsibility for its success and therefore engaged in product promotion, customer interaction, and sales closing (Bunkley, 2016). It would be incorrect to describe Mulally as a reckless individual; nevertheless, he had to make some bold decisions to avoid bankruptcy.

Mulally had the following leadership qualities: communication, dedication, passion, a good attitude, honesty, and decisiveness. These helped him bring the firm to success by allowing him to understand employees’ demands and establish the company’s mission while avoiding any capricious moves that would have been too hazardous during the economic crisis when Ford had to compete with bankruptcy.

Mulally’s Behavior

The organizational behavior of a leader can be characterized using either task- or people-oriented (or relationship-oriented) leadership characteristics. Task-oriented leadership is concerned with preserving an approach that provides employees with a succession of problems to solve. Task-oriented leaders are more focused on finding answers and fixing issues than they are on sharing companies’ ideas with employees and building connections between them and the leader (Motschnig & Ryback, 2016).

Emotional intelligence leadership, which is also known as relationship management, has grown in popularity recently because CEOs of several organizations have recognized that collaboration and dedication improve productivity. That is why multinational businesses prefer relationship-oriented leadership to task-oriented leadership.

The problem that the previous Ford CEO failed to address, according to Mulally, was the concern with internal conflicts and issues. Instead of fostering cooperation and empathy among all FMC workers (Bunkley, 2016), he should have fostered collaboration and understanding among all employees. As a result, Mulally has emerged as a coach for Ford’s staff, always focusing on issues that needed to be addressed rather than his personality (Bunkley, 2016).

He became a liaison between company teams and company decisions, presenting his proposal to the FMC executive team and emphasizing that all team members must follow strict rules (Emmons, 2015). Mulally also introduced “One Team,” an approach in which he saw the team as “people working together as a lean, multinational corporation.” As a result, Mulally valued collaboration and employee dedication. His attitude was focused on people.

Mulally’s Leadership Style

The terms “authoritarian” and “militaristic” have been used to describe authoritarian leadership as well as the behaviors, attitudes, and customs associated with it. In a study of prominent executives from the pharmaceutical industry published in 2012, researchers found that leaders who were more demanding or micromanaging also had higher anxiety levels. An autocratic style is a command-and-control approach to followers who must show dependency and respect. Employees typically have hierarchical relationships with their boss (Gupta & Wart, 2015).

In most cases, the autocratic leader is insulated from employees; nevertheless, when the ruler departs, company performance drops (Stout-Rostron, 2014). Participative leaders are more engaged with their workers: they participate in group discussions, propose ideas, and welcome suggestions (Stout-Rostron, 2014). Their duty is to encourage and inspire employees as well as be attentive to their demands. On the other hand, the last project decision is generally made by the leader rather than by workers.

A free-rein style leader, also known as a laissez-faire approach, does not offer tight oversight to teams; furthermore, he or she is frequently non-deferential and doesn’t give any advise or directions at all. Employees are permitted to pick the finest solution and must be chosen in these circumstances (Stout-Rostron, 2014). This technique is popular among groups where participants have considerable expertise and can make professional judgments. The major disadvantage of this method is that people may not be sufficiently motivated to deliver high-quality work.

Mulally’s style of leadership, as it turned out, was participative or democratic. He shared the decisions he planned to make with his team, attended sales and other company functions, contacted clients throughout sales, urged the executive team to work on the brand and its image alike (Emmons, 2015).

Moreover, Mulally emphasized that changing the attitude of top executives would not result in the desired changes, since workers at all levels must understand the company’s goals and feel devoted to it (Nisen, 2013). “It was a privilege to serve” as his leadership style.

As part of his plan to restore the tarnished reputation of GM, Mulally decided that he wanted to give everyone in the company a sense of belonging. It was critical for him to demonstrate that everyone was acknowledged and that each employee had aided the company’s transition from bankruptcy back to success. Mulally also chided the authoritarian style, although not directly (although not directly). According to him, bosses should inquire about how they might assist their employees rather than punishing them for mistakes or inefficient working processes (Nisen, 2013, para 7). Knowledge dissemination is also an important element in maintaining corporate health, resulting in enhanced productivity and better outcomes.

Mulally is not the first CEO to recognize the beneficial impact of a democratic style, which has been used for more than five decades. However, his approach is different from others in that he combined various concepts, encouraged collaboration and teamwork among employees, attended company events, was a couch to his workers, gave suggestions, and offered his own answers. As a result, Mulally saw his position as an opportunity to serve and search for answers to tough issues inside and outside the business.

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Example 2

To put it another way, Alan Roger Mulally is the Bruce Springsteen of CEOs — the consummate frontman. For 37 successful years, he was the Executive Vice President of Boeing and the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, where he served for over a decade before joining Ford in 2006. HeSecureed enough private money to keep the company afloat shortly after taking charge. He rescued an ailing automobile firm from near-collapse to skyrocketing profitability during his tenure.

Along the way, he won a slew of accolades. Mulally was ranked No. 3 on Fortune’s list of World’s Greatest Leaders, is included in Barron’s World’s Best CEOs, and was Automotive News magazine’s Industry Leader of the Year. Not bad for a kid who, at the age of 17, was inspired by President John Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon.

This is not a tale about how a car company fell from $17.6 billion in debt to one of the most impressive turnarounds in American history. This is a story about a corporate leader, a keen student of leadership and communication, and his efforts to retain his talent as his company sank. “Leadership is defined as having a clear vision, an organized strategy, constant implementation, and talented people working together,” he explains in his own words.

Mulally’s leadership style was heavily influenced by the role of connectivity. He is often quoted as saying, “People want significance.” We all want to know that we are accomplishing great things, touching a lot of people, and making a difference.”

It all began with a strategy. Mulally was full of infectious optimism, frequently citing Henry Ford’s company founder. “We’re giving consumers the freedom to move about” and “exploit the opportunity” were common quotations. He was likeable and made people feel special. He was single-minded in his presentation of his vision, using it to judge everything from vehicle design to consumer perks to corporate decision-making. Mulally followed through on his ideas of strategy and communication by bringing his vision and plan ‘One Ford’ life.

The strategy itself was made up of 4 different goals:

  1. bring all employees together as a global team
  2. leverage Ford’s unique knowledge and assets
  3. build vehicles people wanted
  4. get financing in place to pay for it all.

To break down pre-existing silos and turf battles, he formed “One Team.” He established a simplified leadership structure that conformed to his desire to have people work together across the organization as a worldwide team. Mulally explains, “It’s all about people working together for the benefit of everyone else.”

In 2008, he had a chance to put his strategy to the test when he pushed for Ford’s decision to go to Congress with GM and Chrysler and ask for a federal bailout. Ford didn’t require saving. In fact, Mulally had previously secured a multi-billion-dollar line of credit by personally appealing to the biggest banks in the United States, as he had done previously with Boeing. Mulally restored Ford’s reputation and started the turnaround process rolling.

He thought GM and Chrysler were a danger to the entire country’s economy, and that going before Congress was “the proper thing for the industry and the right thing for the United States of America.”

Mulally kept the company focused on what was best for Ford. He knew there was potential, but he had to arouse it. Mulally addressed 4,000 Ford workers and dealers at a meeting where he asked the executive team to stand and look the dealers in the eye. He then requested that the executives tell their dealers they loved them.

It was the moment, according to a dealer that was there when Ford’s culture began to change. Mulally recognized that without trust, collaboration, and teamwork, the plan would fail. He still believes today, as he did then, that you can’t just be there for your workers. You have to care about them.

At one of the company’s town hall meetings, Mulally prioritized open discussion from the start and electrified his employees by stating, “We’ve been going out of business for 40 years.” The statement was completely correct and had a huge influence on workers. Leaders that care about their people don’t just see them as a tool to an end.

Mulally gave his employees a voice and would frequently seek out their ideas and suggestions, holding weekly meetings to discuss his plan. He encouraged open discussion, prohibiting anyone in his meetings from making jokes at the expense of others since they weakened honesty and connection.

He understood how to retain his best employees, recognizing latent capacity in current staff and increasing his teams while he recharged the Ford corporate culture with little employee turnover. Being bound by a common spirit allowed for a more technologically driven business with an emphasis on innovation.

Part of the ‘One Ford’ strategy was to bring suppliers, customers, and even unions into the fold as partners. This would have the double benefit of convincing doubters that the organization was really in the midst of positive change that would benefit everyone.

Mulally’s goal was for Ford to clearly and comprehensively explain why the situation had changed, how things had altered, what needed to be done in order for the turnaround to succeed, and what the company was ready to do so that everyone could benefit. And he never looked back. With rising stock prices, Ford went on to record earnings.

Mulally departed as president and CEO of Ford in 2014, but he’s still in the limelight. He is a member of the Google (now Alphabet) Board of Directors, the subject of a book describing his significant accomplishments at Ford titled “American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company,” and was rumored to be Secretary of State for Trump.

Example 3

Leadership is the process of directing people to successful results in order to fulfill the objectives of the company. A good leader has the ability to inspire and influence others. The following sources of power are used effectively and responsibly by them to achieve their objectives, however, true leaders are expected to make employees work hard by encouraging them and ensuring that organizational objectives are met.

The following competencies should be possessed by every leader: Vision, Integrity, Honesty, and Values. Releasing Potential and Energy. The goal of this paper is to describe the roles of leadership and how they influence company performance. It then delves into the job of Allan Mulally as CEO of Ford Motor Company, as well as his leadership style. The article also discusses how Mulally’s decision to establish a target has boosted Ford’s profitability and points out how Mulally’s transparency has earned him loyalty and helped him achieve his aim.

In 2006, Alan Mulally replaced Eugene Schram. He’d been with Boeing since 1969. In 1999 he was promoted to Vice President of Engineering for commercial aircraft, where he had served as chief engineer for the development of the 777. Mulally lacked sales experience and wasn’t a “Detroit car man” or a “car guy in general.” After moving to Dearborn, he sold his Lexus. What distinguishes Mulally’s leadership style is its emphasis on results. His management is sharp and commanding, albeit he respects the product-line experts at GM concerning the small details of each model line.

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However, Mulalley was instrumental in key decisions that have put the company in good stead on the bigger questions of its past mistakes and where it is heading. When Mulally appeared before Congress with GM’s Rick Wagoner and Chrysler’s Robert Nardelli in December 2008 to announce that Ford would be able to survive the recession without a bailout, he said that Ford could do it. In 2006, Alan Mulally became the CEO of Ford after serving as COO for several years. Because of heavy truck sales and other lines that were not adequately supported, the firm earned less revenue than competitors.

Mulally began by selling off some of the company’s sub-brands, including Jaguar and Land Rover, in order to concentrate more on the smaller vehicle lines that were becoming more popular with customers. This would allow the firm to take advantage of scale economies and boost sales revenue from selling those vehicles by focusing on small cars.

He also took out a $23 billion loan to avoid needing the bailouts that would follow in two years. Mulally eliminated the politics associated with the vice-presidential structure, forcing the weekly leadership meeting to focus on the company’s success rather than its leaders’ squabbles.

Finally, in his book “Lift Off!” he wrote about the importance of recognizing when things are not working well. He was explicit that the vice presidents must openly acknowledge their issues so they may be addressed; operations should be referred to as green for proceeding well, yellow for caution, and red for failure.

The vice presidents were hesitant at first, afraid to reveal their challenges and failures, but Mulally made it clear that he wanted to hear these problems addressed rather than swept under the carpet or laid upon someone else. Finally, Mulally introduced a new vision: One Ford, with One Team, One Plan, and One Goal.

The individuals in each team were assigned to a single, unified team totally dedicated to making the transition as smooth and painless as possible for everyone involved. One Plan was about redrafting to be more successful, speeding up development to bring new goods to market faster, financing the plan, and working as a team.

Finally, One Goal was all about creating an exciting and viable Ford that could produce profits. Mulally has a more hands-on leadership style than previous CEOs. He wants to know where the firm is now and how they plan to get somewhere better in the future.

With the vice president meetings, he demonstrates his color-coded operations technique. His solutions to problems were not just to brush them off and return to where they were; instead, he outlined how to continue forward once issues brought them there. Mulally showed organizational innovation by employing several methods of production and administration. Mulally demonstrated his creativity by including ideas from outside Ford in conjunction with those from within Ford Motor Company.

The message he conveys is one of planning, executing, choosing, and putting the objectives into action to fulfill his administration’s goals. The success of a new invention is contingent on a market forecast of client demands and desires and sound management of the innovation process.

The introduction of a new service that meets the client’s needs is necessitated by focusing on fewer goods to produce with higher improvement and innovation. He has a great deal of respect for top management and maintains open communication.

Mulally has a purpose to serve and satisfy consumers and employees, increase market share, create more money, and communicate is at the forefront. Alan Mulally has demonstrated successful leadership skills.

He is persevering with innovative processes that address problems within the company to assure successful development. His responsibilities as a leader include lowering risk reduction, managing customer interaction, training and developing personnel performance, and engaging Ford’s senior management team.

His insight into how successful his approach may be has secured Mulally’s reputation as one of the industry’s great leaders; it’s well worth listening to what he has to say and taking lessons from his leadership abilities. Any excellent leader must have a clear vision for the future and specific concerns in certain regions. No matter what kind of crisis a leader faces, whether it is a cultural issue, economic catastrophe, or environmental catastrophe, learning from their mistakes can help an organization succeed and become one of the notable examples to follow and learn from.

Example 4

Ford Motor Company CEO and president Allan Mulally has been in charge since September 2006. Before joining Ford, Mulally was the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1998 to 2006. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering as well as a master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

An inspired leader like Mr. Mulally has the knowledge and capacity to go on and become a great leader. He pulled Ford Motor Co. from almost bankruptcy to prosperity. Microsoft wants to speed Mr. Mulally away from Ford, but he makes the correct decision in remaining where an excellent leader should be.

In the last 103 years as an automobile maker, Ford Motor Company has had its worst financial crisis, with nearly $12.7 billion in annual loss. Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. turns to Alan Mulally, a non-automotive industry executive, to be the firm’s new CEO in hopes that his leadership abilities will help save the company. Before taking on the position at Ford, Mulally had no automotive experience. Surprisingly for everyone in the business, Mulally helped turn around Ford and remained competitive due to his skills and leadership abilities.

Taking a risk: Change

In 1991, when Mulally first took the reins at Ford, he ran into a number of roadblocks. Even before and after Mulally’s arrival, Ford was in financial straits. In 2008, the firm lost $14.8 billion, more than it did in 2006. When the company decided to appear before Congress to testify about the predicted collapse of the American automobile industry, it was in need of assistance. The Big Three intended that government intervention might help them save their auto business from failing.

It’s not clear if Mulally had any input in the decision, but his comments to Congress indicate that he wanted Ford to go it alone instead of seeking government assistance. Mulally took a huge risk and overcame many obstacles to put Ford back on track. Thanks to his no-fail attitude, he instilled confidence in his people because he was certain that Ford would come back.

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He also made significant changes in the product line because he realized that what mattered was not the vehicle or truck customers bought but rather the technology within them (Alan Mulally). This was why he modified everything about the Ford automobile inside and out.

Internal environment changes

We would be world-class, Mulally says, and we needed to come together and leverage our global assets in order to build a powerhouse known as “One Ford, One Team.” The inner workings of the firm must be robust in order to create one team. To accomplish this, Mulally compelled everyone working at Ford Motor Company to play on the same team by maintaining his weekly meeting a safe place where statistics may be shared without executives eying each other for personal gain.

He instructs CEOs and managers to be straightforward when they need assistance rather than attempting to conceal their errors. Mulally also ensures that the executives attend the weekly meeting with a thorough rundown of their department’s progress. The company’s data variance was revealed as a result of this weekly meeting.

Mulally recognized that, in addition to the basic Ford, there was also Ford of Europe and Ford of Asia, with no coordination or cooperation between them. He decided to combine all of Ford together to form a worldwide business so as not to repeat the numerous ideas he had every year. Mulally only has one plan now instead of many because he stuck and hammered it during the recession, which helped pull the company out together rather than separately.

Mulally’s strategy to renovate the company

The 7 routines are as follows: (1) communicate an inspiring vision, (2) to make your values known, (3) to bring out the best in employees to achieve a common goal, and so on. Mulally values team players; therefore he would employ phases like One Ford, One team, the power of a team, and working together always work because it helps people focus on a cause greater than one person. That’s why making your values clear is a typical step used by Mulally to encourage individuals to pursue his or her goal.

Mulally follows through on his words, which means he talks the talk and sets good examples. He is actually following through on what he promised. (4) Mulally thinks of others before considering a competitor, as he does in consideration of individual and organizational wellbeing rather than just profit.

This assisted Mulally in his negotiations with the United Auto Workers to make necessary modifications for Ford. Mulally wants everyone to contribute to the company as a team, not as individuals. It’s critical that you (5) make sure everyone is on the same page by fostering communication between departments in an open discussion environment.

Mulally’s last strategy was to be result-oriented because task accomplishment and outcomes are crucial to him. Many people were concerned that they would not be able to accomplish it when Ford was floundering. This is why Mulally pushes for a (6) take a positive can-do attitude in his practice, where he led with a good statement rather than criticism. To assess progress and outcome, Mulally used a set of metrics. Consistently good results help Ford employees feel more unified as a company.

The 7 practice was crucial in preserving the iconic brand, with Mulally Ford’s leadership once again leading us through adversity and keeping us on top of the automobile industry. Over the last 30 years, Ford has made approximately $30 billion in profits. Ford stock was formerly sold for $1.96 in 2009; it is currently trading at $12 per share.

Example 5

It’s crucial to note that Alan Mulally is a great leader. The core of this statement is that he didn’t focus on contingency theory or transformational leadership techniques. He sought to get everyone involved in the process and guarantee that their potential could be maximized. Still, as with the original quote, we find here an opposite — every staff member’s role in the company was emphasized.

He was also aware of the importance of supporting employee productivity and promoting corporate culture and vision so that coworkers might understand why they should apply themselves to their tasks.

As a result, while Alan Mulally is deserving of accolades for the technological innovation his company was able to achieve during his leadership, he should also be recognized as an excellent and ethical leader not just because of this achievement but also due to the emphasis on a workforce that allowed the firm to retain staff and mobilize everyone to be productive while still providing the best support.

The example of Ford’s CEO, on the other hand, may provide practical advice regarding how to be more efficient. First and foremost, it is critical to support staff in working together. The manager’s job is to create a team-based atmosphere in which each employee can contribute to the achievement of objectives based on their area of competence and experience.

Second, it is rational to delegate a duty in which the leader is unable to perform. Those professionals who are experts in the field should be delegated (Shein, 2012). Third, it’s critical to give and obtain regular feedback. The manager will learn what needs to be done to help staff accomplish their tasks most effectively by listening and talking with them.

Following this method, I will be able to encourage employees to utilize their full abilities, ensure loyalty, and improve job satisfaction, all of which will be reflected in improved business performance and a positive corporate culture.

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