Compair & contrast essay

I - Compair & contrast essay introduction. Introduction

        A leader cannot be a good leader if he does not know how to serve others. It is the most challenging position because you are look up by others. Being in the leadership is not an easy task. A good leader is always ready to face challenges and make solutions for the lapses of the organization. He must be strong enough and must not be influenced by the outside voices. He has the integrity to run the organization and should not show partiality to his subordinates.

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            Henry Ford and Thomas Jefferson are two of the great leaders at all times. These two leaders make it to the top. They show concern to human welfare and devoted their time to be great leaders.

            Thesis Statement: This study scrutinizes the leadership styles between a business personality, Henry Ford, and a politician, Thomas Jefferson. Thus, this shows the similarities and differences of each leader on how they run their organizations in order to be successful and points out who is the better leader between the two personalities.

II. Discussion

            Let’s examine the life and leadership styles of these two leaders. They run different offices and exude strengths and weaknesses in handling dilemmas. Thomas Jefferson is a better leader compared to Henry Ford because Thomas Jefferson made a point that he can serve different people and attended their needs in his own little way. The citizens of the United States voted him as president because they have seen the good deeds, incomparable leadership styles and experiences in life that made him one of a kind. On the other hand, Henry Ford also looked after the needs of his employees and even increased salaries above the minimum wage at that time however; he had no peace with the labor unions (which composed by his employees) and just wanted his own way. Yes, he run his own business but a business cannot run successfully without the help of the subordinates. He should lend his ear to their sentiments and suggestions in order to work peacefully with them.

A. Background and Leadership styles

Henry Ford. Henry Ford was the industrialist for whom the Ford Motor Company was named. In 1891, Ford went to work for the Edison Illuminating Company (Later Detroit Edison Company). He advanced rapidly and became chief engineer. In his spare time, he worked in a building behind his home to build a “horseless carriage.” Thomas A. Edison, who later became a close friend, encouraged him at their first meeting in 1895. The next year Ford completed his first working model of an automobile. He later built several racing cars, including the 999 in which Barney Oldfield broke the world’s speed records in 1902 and 1903. Ford himself set a new record (91.3 miles per hour) (Lasky, 2001).

In addition, a coal leader Alex Y. Malcomson, became interested in Ford’s car after Ford had failed twice to get into manufacturing. In 1903, Malcomson, Ford, and 10 other men formed the Ford Motor Company. After buying out Malcomson and two other stockholders in 1907-07, Ford became president and the dominant figure in the company. However, he shared control until 1915 with James Couzens, later United States senator from Michigan.

In 1911 Ford won a lengthy court fight in which it was decided that he had not infringed on the automotive patents of George B. Selden. This victory not only saved the Ford Motor Company from possible ruin, but benefited the entire industry be freeing other manufacturers from the necessity of paying royalties (Collier, 2006). By 1915, Ford’s company was producing almost half of all the automobiles sold in the United States.

Furthermore, He is considered the man who “put America on wheels” because the assembly-line method of manufacturing, which he pioneered, allowed him to become the first to produce low-priced autos in large quantities. His Model T “Tin Lizzie,” produced from 1908 to 1927 and coming in “any color as long as it’s black,” at one time sold for less than $300. Fifteen million Model T’s were produced.

The Ford Company was organized when Ford was 40; he was one of the world’s richest men in 10 years. Few modern Americans were more widely known and admired in the world than was Ford at his prime. Yet he was a man of puzzling and complex character (Lacey, 2004).

Although unfriendly to unions, Ford greatly aided cause of labor in 1914 when he adopted five dollars a day as a minimum wage for eight hours’ work. (The going rate at that time was less than $2.50 for 10 hours of labor). Ford’s money established the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, a historical museum in Dearborn, Michigan, yet Ford once declared, :History is more or less bunk.” Ford was both a humanitarian and a man of unreasonable prejudices (Collier, 2006).  In his old age his outdated policies nearly ruined the company that his early innovations had made a leader in its field.

 Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States. He was also the second Vice President. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, founded what came to be the Democratic Party, and established the University of Virginia. He played a major part in shaping the theory and practice of government of the new nation. As President, Jefferson was a strong and generally effective leader. During his tow terms, he more than doubled the size of the country, through the Louisiana Purchase, and kept the nation from involvement in the Napoleonic Wars despite both British and French violations of America’s neutrality (Cunningham, 2001).

            Jefferson had varied interests; he came close to the Renaissance ideal of the universal man. Although his most important achievements were in government and politics, he was also successful as a lawyer, farmer, writer, architect, scientist, musician, and inventor.

            He was internationally known as a patron of the arts and learning. His extensive private library was sold to the federal government after the British burned Washington, D.C, in 1814, and was the nucleus for the Library of Congress. He not only founded the University of Virginia, but also designed its buildings and shaped its educational program. He also was the architect of the Virginia state capitol, Ash Lawn (James Monroe’s home), and Monticello (his own home).

            While president of the American Philosophical Society (1979-1815), Jefferson presented several papers that revealed his knowledge of various branches of science. His inventiveness was demonstrated at Monticello, where there were a variety of mechanical contrivances unusual or unique at the time.

            In addition, Jefferson was a justice of the peace and a church vestryman before he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1769. In 1770, he was given command of the Albemarle County militia. He continued to be elected to the House of Burgesses until it ceased to function in 1775, though he did not attend its sessions in 1772 (Dabney, 2001). In 1773, he was appointed surveyor of Albemarle County. While in the House of Burgesses he allied himself with Patrick Henry, who was spokesman for a progressive group opposed to the aristocracy.

            As one of the militant anti-British group, Jefferson helped to organize the Virginia Committee of Correspondence and was one of its 11 members. Illness prevented his attending the Virginia Convention in 1774, but he contributed a paper called “A Summary View of the Rights of British America.” This ranks next to the Declaration of Independence as a literary document of the American Revolution. It established Jefferson as an intellectual leader of the revolutionary forces.

III. Conclusion

            As a conclusion, these two personalities have exuded different and impressive leadership styles. Though they run different organizations but they are able to make their careers successful and remarkable. In spite of what they have been through, both personalities have each own way and strategies on how to make them on the top.  Both of them have strong personalities that can outwit odds which make them better and admirable leaders. Although they have flaws and lapses as leaders but they are able to manage it for the benefit of the organizations. However, Henry Ford fails to give ear to the labor unions that would be possibly help him to improve his business while Thomas Jefferson gives his best for the benefits of the masses.


Collier, P. The Fords: an American Epic (Summit Book, 2006).
Cunningham, N.E. The Process of Government under Jefferson (Princeton University, 2001).
Dabney, Virginius. Mr. Jefferson’s University: a History (University Press of Virginia, 2001).
Lacey, R. Ford, the Men, and the Machine (Little Brown, 2004).
Lasky, V. Never Complain, Never Explain: the Story of Henry Ford (Marek, 2001).


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