Friday, May 29, 2009


Nice piece on Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford. Mulally came from Boeing to Ford a few years ago and took the helm of a struggling company. He immediately started making material moves to ensure the viability of Ford. At the time, some of those moves were questioned. They are not being questioned now.

He sold brands such as Jaguar, he borrowed billions when they were available and pledged collateral, he reduced the number of dealers in the network and he moved aggressively to build hybrid vehicles.

Furthermore, Mulally is a relentless cheerleading CEO. By all reports, he is very enthusiastic and positive. He is constantly smiling and exhorting all Ford's stakeholders to work together toward success. People are infused with his attitude when they spend time with him. Such an attitude is priceless in a turnaround situation. People need to be given credible hope that their efforts will bear fruit in the end. No one wants to follow a downbeat "woe is me" leader.

Courtesy of my friend Dave, Churchill said, "A relentless leader is the greatest weapon in war." So when things get tough, put together a bold plan to turn things around and be relentlessly positive. In the beginning, a positive attitude may be all you have.

Cheers, Mike

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