Leadership is commonly defined as “establishing a clear vision, communicating the vision with others and resolving the conflicts between various individuals who are responsible for completing the company’s vision” (Kelly, 2009). The most effective leaders are those who can competently organize the cooperation and assistance of all members of the company to accomplish goals and objectives. The constantly changing wants and needs of the consumer have made it necessary for leaders to create strong organizational cultures so that companies can continue to expand into the future.
According to Hellriegel & Slocum (2011), Alan Mulally’s leadership has resulted in Ford making some strategic moves. His skills and style has helped Ford to move ahead in the industry during the economic recession. Ferrell, Hirt & Ferrell (2009) argue that an effective leader is one that is task-relevant and most successful when they adapt their leadership style to the individual or group they are attempting to lead or influence. By understanding the ins and outs of how things should be run within the company, a leader can quickly and efficiently adapt their leadership styles to the individual or group situation that requires attention.
According to Ferrell, Hirt & Ferrell (2009), it is widely believed that leadership creates the vital link between organizational effectiveness and people’s performance at an organizational level. Effective leadership behaviors can facilitate the improvement of performance when organizations face today’s new challenges such as innovation-based competition, price and performance rivalry, decreasing returns and market volatility. Discuss Mulally’s leadership style at Ford Motor Company and provide examples of how his actions fit this style
Mulally’s results oriented leadership style has been very effective for Ford Motor Company. His two-way communication has been very significant in the company’s accomplishment. Mulally has constantly demonstrated this by communicating to all the employees and not just upper level executives about what he wanted to accomplish. The role of leadership is the act of motivating a group of people towards a common goal. Allan Mulally has recognized communication as one of the key elements of the company’s success.
He involved employees, analyst, consultants, production managers, etc. Mulally believes that everyone on his team needed to be in his meetings because they needed to know everything. This would make Ford Motor successful. When he came to Ford, he has no experience in the auto industry but has managed to undertake major restructuring which has saved the company from the economic downturn. On his first day at Ford he questioned the senior leaders about a product that was no longer available and he listened to why this product was not available.
He instituted a plan to focus Ford on fixing its namesake brand and take advantage of its global scale to build cars to be sold worldwide. He called the strategy “One Ford” and gave his executives laminated wallet cards to drive home his tenets of working together, accepting reality and developing new models that buyers really wanted. Mulally, as a team player, has credited his colleagues for Ford’s remarkable progress.
In today’s business world, individual leaders cannot effectively run global companies by themselves, however, a single leader’s vision and persistence can jump start a turnaround. Discuss how goal setting helped Ford improve its performance According to Hellriegel & Slocum (2011), “goals are future outcomes that individuals and groups desire and strive to achieve”. Goal setting is a theory of motivation, which may give employees a sense of purpose, challenge, and meaning to their work as well as a sense of accomplishment.
Effective goal setting has been a driver of performance for decades at Ford Motor Company. According to Kelly (2009), goals direct attention to the activity specified by the goal and simultaneously away from goal irrelevant activities. Corporate vision is an important element in establishing goals and direction for companies. Corporate vision is a short, succinct, and inspiring statement of what the organization intends to become and to achieve at some point in the future, often stated in competitive terms. Vision is the image that a business must ave of its goals before it sets out to reach them. It describes aspirations for the future, without specifying the means that will be used to achieve those desired ends. The Ford Motor Company vision is ‘to become the world’s leading consumer company for automotive products and services. Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company has set goals and behaviors for the employees of the company which have helped Ford to endure the latest economic crisis. Assess Mulally on each element in communication openness including message transmission, trust, agendas and goals
In business, effective communication can make the difference between closing a deal or not getting your message across to the other party. Communication is widely regarded as being one of the most important skills in leaders. According to Kelly (2009), Mulally is a very effective communicator because he speaks in a down to earth tone with a very clear point of view on his business and his plan. Employees must feel that they can trust their managers in all circumstances and they must believe that a manager has immaculate intentions for the welfare of the company and the employees.
Employees will work harder towards the goals of the organization as well as towards the goals of individual assignments if they feel that management is looking out for their best interests. Organizational leadership styles have a clear impact on organizational culture, including employee behavior. According to Hellriegel & Slocum (2010), Mulally’s leadership style is relationship behavior. This style includes using two-way communication, listening, encouraging, involving followers in decision making and giving emotional support.
Two-way communication is important in any organization and Mulally demonstrated this by communicating to all the employees and not just upper level executives as to what, when and how the company was going to move forward. Evaluate the effectiveness of Mulally’s leadership style and recommend whether he should continue with this style, or use a different style Mulally is pushing for consistency of purpose, transparency and collaboration in the management culture at Ford. He has put an end to calendar based rotations of executives into new assignments so that they have enough time o prove themselves in the jobs they’re in. He is insisting that managers put their cards on the table in weekly update meetings so that everyone has the opportunity to help solve small problems before they become bigger ones. Mulally has set up clear systems that keep himself and his team accountable to their plans. Every initiative and its major tasks are color coded as green for on target, yellow for questionable and red for a problem. Charts are left on the conference room walls and updated weekly for all to see the changes in status.
Alan Mulally has been instrumental in Ford’s leadership in the automotive industry and its success in a challenging economy. Under his leadership, Ford has constantly innovated and launched new energy and technologic efficient cars. His leadership style consists of consulting his team members and getting their opinions or suggestions before making decisions. His method also consists of tracking, identifying and discussing problems with managers and employees in order to find the best solutions.
Since this style has proven to be very effective at Ford Motor Company I would not recommend a different leadership style for Mulally. Conclusion The leader of an organization can make it a successful business because of their leadership style or they can cause an organization to fail. Under Alan Mulally’s leadership, Ford had not simply avoided bankruptcy and a federal bailout; it had turned itself into the world’s most profitable automaker. The most important attributes of an effective and ethical leader are trustworthiness and accountability, values that Mr. Mullaly has instilled in the whole organization ever since he took over.
Ferrell, O. C. , Hirt, G. , & Ferrell, L. (2009). Business: A changing world: 2009 custom edition (7th ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Hellriegel, D. , & Slocum, J. W. , Jr. (2011). Organizational behavior: 2011 custom edition (13th ed. ). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Kelly, K. M. (2009). A Leader When Detroit Needs One. Automotive Design & Production, 121(5), 40. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.