There is little argument that can be seriously made against the opinion that Alan Mulally is one of the greatest CEOs of the modern era. After all, this is the man who turned the Ford company around when the rest of the automobile industry was collapsing. And unlike the vast majority of the other automobile companies who were damaged by the economic conditions of 2008, Mulally accomplished this impressive feat without taking the government bailouts that were offered to the automobile industry giants.
Clearly, this is a brand of leadership that is worth studying. There are many elements to the leadership style of Alan Mulally that are well worth emulating in some form or fashion.
Mulally Leadership Style
In order to truly appreciate the leadership style of a man who guided Ford through its most difficult period in recent history, it’s important to understand some of the specifics that contribute to the overall leadership style Mulally brings to the corporate world:
1. Alan Mulally is known for coming to the office early and never leaving well into the late hours of the night. He typically shows up at 5:15 AM and leaves at 5:30. That’s a 12-hour workday.
2. He goes through Ford’s business plan once a week in the company of his most valuable team members.
3. He prefers taking a complex matter and breaking it down into the simplest terms possible.
4. He prefers profitable growth over a growing revenue-curve.
5. He doesn’t see much of point in talking about the shortcomings of his rivals.
6. He believes in the type of leadership that prizes searching for solution while acknowledging victories.
7. He requires his staff members to keep a card containing the four key components of the Ford business plan on their persons.
8. He keeps the company’s performance against the company’s projections in full view.
9. He believes in a strong, professional approach to business, but he manages to have certain aspects to his demeanor and behavior that some might call laidback.
10. Even his critics have noted that he brings positivity and honesty to everything he does in the business world.
11. He believes that everyone in the company needs to understand the value of communication and the value of staying up-to-date.
12. He plays golf and tennis, and he has been known to enjoy a wide array of books on business.
It’s easy to see why so many people admire the man. It’s also to see why so many try to emulate a style that clearly works.