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Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company
Leadership and Organizational Behavior-BUS 520
May 13, 2011
Strayer University-Lithonia Campus
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In this paper I will discuss the role of leadership and how it can impact organizational performance. I will also discuss Alan Mulally??™s leadership style at Ford Motor Company and provide examples of how his actions fit this style. I will also explain how goal setting helped Ford Motor Company improve its performance. I will asses Alan Mulally on each element of communication openness and evaluate the effectiveness of Alan Mulally??™s leadership style and recommend whether he should continue with this style or use a different approach.
To be in a leadership role you must have an honest understanding of who you are, what you know, and what you can do. Also, note that it is the followers, in Alan Mulally??™s case the employees, not the leader or someone else who determines if the leader is successful. If they do not trust or lack confidence in their leader, then they will be uninspired. To be successful you have to convince your employees, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed. With that being said, leadership has an undeniable impact on organizational performance. Alan Mulally displayed unwavering confidence and swagger when he stepped foot in Ford Motor Company. When that kind of attitude is seen it becomes contagious throughout the work place within the employees. When that happens, your employees start to buy into what their superior has planned and everyone is trying to step their performance up to the standard that has been set.
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Alan Mulally has an authoritarian leadership style as well as a participative style. Mulally is an authoritarian leader because he came to Ford Motor Company with a strategic plan and demanded that his plan be followed to the letter. Mulally also has a participative style because with his plan he also reaches out to his employees and executive partners for feedback and insight. But there is no question who is the captain of the ship at Ford Motor Company. An example of Mulally??™s authoritarian style is the Ford Taurus. When Mullay found out that the production of the Ford Taurus was deceased, he demanded that production of the Ford Taurus is started back up. Mulally gave a deadline of the next day for the Ford Taurus name to be on a vehicle, and then gave the employees two years to come out with the ???coolest??? vehicle that can possibly be produced dawning the Ford Taurus name.
Goal setting was a big part of the short term success Alan Mulally has had at Ford Motor Company. When Mulally came to Ford Motor Company he had devised a plan that identified specific goals. By setting these goals, it gave the company something to aim for. When these goals were set the Ford Motor Company started climbing out of debt and making moves to put them in position to make suitable profits when the recession comes to an end.
When Alan Mulally first came to the Ford Motor Company, employees were reluctant to relay the problems that were going on with productions and financial endeavors. Mulally made it okay for the employees not to be afraid to relay bad news. Mulally stressed communication and that every single employee knew the plan, status, and every single area that needed special attention. Mulally does an excellent job transmitting messages. He is very thorough with making
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sure that the goals are set. Mulally also has weekly meetings making sure that everyone is progressing towards the agendas that have been laid out for them.
Alan Mulally??™s authoritarian style of leadership is very effective. Because of Mulally??™s leadership style, the Ford Motor Company has a promising near future. Because of the strategic moves and the performance that Mulally has demanded from his employees, the Ford Motor Company is set to have a good year in 2011. Alan Mulally??™s leadership style is demanding, thorough, and very effective. As the old saying goes, ???if its not broke, don??™t fix it???.