Case: “Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company” Discuss the role of leadership and how it can impact organizational performance. The role of leadership is the act of motivating a group of people towards a common goal. Intelligence, maturity and breadth, achievement drive and integrity are key traits of most successful leaders. Less effective leaders don’t tend to possess these same traits even though these key traits don’t always determine the success of a leader.
In order to successfully lead any team being smarter than their subordinates is a great start while the absences of knowledge that inferior workers have could delay performance. Effective leaders are driven by completing goals and moving on to the next goal without primarily counting on employees support or motivation to reach them. With the variety of traits shaping the leadership role integrity in opinion is the key trait that can determine if a leader can be successful or not in the long run.
Employees very often have a hard time trusting a leader who is hypocritical and doesn’t follow their own values. Honesty and trust can determine the level at which employees will follow the leader without negative vibes. The degree of integrity in a leader reflects the attitude and performance of employees and vice versa. (Hellriegel & Slocum 2011 p. 297).
Traditionally there are four different leadership styles that describe the role of a leader and suit the team depending on their willingness; the telling style in which the leader gives specific directions and supervises closely, the selling style which helps builds confidence in the follower by the leader providing direction and encouraging two-way communication, the participating style in which the leader encourages followers to share ideas and facilitates the work by being supportive and helpful to employees, finally the delegating style in which the leader turns over responsibility for making and implementing decisions to followers. Hellriegel & Slocum 2011 p. 306). Before a style is chosen the situation should be assessed by the leader. They should consider the degree of follower readiness, a follower’s ability to set high but attainable task-related goals and a willingness to accept responsibility for reaching them, which would help make a better decision when deciding the style that fits best. Readiness isn’t a fixed trait of followers it depends on the task the leader chooses. (Hellriegel & Slocum 2011 p. 305). With this in mind the role of leadership has the power to influence organizational performance in either a positive or negative way.
Discuss Mulally’s leadership style at Ford Motor Company and provide examples of how his actions fit this style. Alan Mulally, the current CEO of Ford Motor Company, came into the company with a new direction. With a selling leadership style Mulally won over the willingness of Fords followers. Mulally builds confidence of followers by providing clear direction and encouraging two way communication. After looking at the product lineup Mulally said, “Where’s the Taurus? ”After learning the Taurus was renamed the Five Hundred Mulally said, “Well, you’ve got until tomorrow to find a vehicle to put the Taurus name on because that’s why I’m here.
Then you have two years to make the coolest vehicle that you can possibly make. ” (Hellriegel & Slocum 2011 p. 544). Considering this happened Mulally’s first day his leadership was evident. Instead of walking in and demanding the seniors to put the Taurus name on a vehicle he demonstrated his own values by listening to the reasons why the seniors decided to rename it. Mulally provides clear direction and has full confidence in his plan. “Everybody says you can’t make money off small cars,” he says, “Well, you’d better damn well figure out how to make money, because that’s where the world is going. His ability to be straight forward and open has won the trust and support of the organization. “This is a person people want to follow,” says Manufacturing VP Joe Hinrich. (Hellriegel & Slocum 2011 p. 544). Discuss how goal setting helped Ford improve its performance. Goal setting helped Ford improve its performance by changing the products and separating Ford from other competitors. Before arriving at Ford Alan Mulally extensively researched Ford which helped him develop a strategy for the auto business and set goals that would put Ford at the top of the industry in the future.
Mulally borrowed twenty-three billion dollars in 2006 against Ford assets so the company could decline loans from the government in 2008 and 2009. Mulally convinced Bill Ford to sell Ashton Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover; with these distractions gone Mulally felt that the company could focus more on the Ford Brand. (Hellriegel & Slocum 2011 p. 543) The main goal that Mulally stressed to the organization was to develop the best small cars Ford could make. In the end the goals set by Mulally have distinguished Ford away from competitors and helped improve performance.
Assess Mulally on each element in communication openness including message transmission, trust, agendas, and goals. Mulally is really big on communication, he stated that “Everyone has to know the plan, its status, and areas that need special attention. ” (Hellriegel & Slocum 2011 p. 544). Mulally studied Ford Motor Company extensively in order to know how to strategically make decisions based on his research on the auto business. The goal of the company was to focus on today’s problems instead of tomorrow’s opportunities but with Mulally as CEO goals have been set for the future of Ford.
Mulally holds weekly meetings every Thursday at which the four profit centers and twelve functional areas are discussed. He provides feedback and he expects honesty and openness. With this in effect the company as a whole is better at identifying and solving problems. Mulally’s agenda is to make Ford a leader in the industry but only time will tell. Integrity, honesty and openness with plans have helped Mulally gain trust and support with the organization. Evaluate the effectiveness of Mulally’s leadership style and recommend whether he should continue with this style, or use a different style.
Mulally’s leadership style is effective for Ford Motor Company because Ford was on the verge of financial ruin. Mulally studied Ford before arriving and knew exactly how to approach the situation. He approached the company questioning employees as to why certain products weren’t available, gave goals to employees to meet before a certain deadline and his communication with employees within the company let employees understand he expected them to push Ford into the future. Overall Alan Mulally is the right leader for Ford Motor Company; He has the vision, plan, and goal to make it the company successful. Mulally should keep his leadership style because since 2006 he has continued to have success.
References Hellriegel, D. , & Slocum, J. W. , Jr. (2011). BUS520: Organizational behavior: 2011 custom edition (13th ed. ) (p. 297) Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Hellriegel, D. , & Slocum, J. W. , Jr. (2011). BUS520: Organizational behavior: 2011 custom edition (13th ed. ) (pp. 305-306) Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Hellriegel, D. , & Slocum, J. W. , Jr. (2011). BUS520: Organizational behavior: 2011 custom edition (13th ed. ) (pp. 543-544) Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.