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Bus 520 Leadership and Organization Behavior

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Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company

Steve Rhew

Dr. Aiynak Finch

BUS 520 Leadership and Organization Behavior

August 7, 2011

1. Discuss the role of leadership and how it can impact organizational performance.

Army Doctrine defines leadership as "The process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation, while operating to accomplish the mission and improve the organization" (Department of the Army, 2007). This definition tells us several key elements of leadership that affect the organization at some point. In order to get the organization to function and employees to perform, there has to be a purpose, a direction of where the organization wants to go, and the employees need to be motivated to do what they are hired to do. Leaders set the tone of the organization and provide that purpose and direction of what they desire for the organization. To take it a step further, leaders define the goals which help provide the direction to the desired end result.

Leaders possess several key traits necessary to accomplish goals. Leaders lead by example. The example the leader displays affects the behavior of those in the organization. You can normally determine the type of leadership that exists by the way the organization operates. Leaders also provide effective communication in order to ensure their ideas are understood and executed. Leaders are responsible for the culture that exists in the organization. Leaders provide encouragement to employees. This encouragement helps get the job done. Finally, leaders achieve results. They are ultimately responsible and accountable for everything that goes on in the organization.

2. Discuss Mulally's leadership style at Ford Motor Company and provide examples of how his actions fit this style.

I see Alan Mulally's leadership style as a combination of two core leadership styles from the Vroom-Jago Leadership Model; consult team style and delegate style. Mulally is also very driven and charismatic. Jim Jamieson in a Seattle Times article had this to say about Mulally, "[h]e is extraordinarily charismatic. He really believes in working together. He has a way of making people feel good about themselves" (Song, 2001).

As indicated in the text, with the consult team style, "the leader presents the problem to team members in a meeting, gets their suggestions, and then makes the decision" (Hellriegel and Slocum, 2011). In Mulally's meetings, those that report directly to him and managers from each the twelve functional areas provide briefings that indicate the current status of the particular division. Mulally creates an environment for open communication to encourage each member to be a part of the company's success. If problems exist, action is taken by the responsible functional area to either fix the problem or start working toward a fix. Representation of all functional areas and direct reports is a change from the previous leadership. Mulally's belief is that everybody is involved and everybody needs to know what is going on to be involved. He is a team player to nth degree. The following statement is an excerpt from an article written by Kyung Song, "Mulally, who built his career on consensus, not confrontation..." (Song, 2001).

I believe Mulally's leadership style also includes the delegate style. His encouragement of "team" allows his employees to work within their boundaries to make decisions. Mulally already knows what is going on in the company at any given moment. He has a large amount of data available and he can monitor any aspect of the operation at all times. However, by delegating portions of the decision making such as identifying problems and determining methods of resolution, Mulally is allowing his employees to work as a team and to feel they are making a difference. This is a sign of a true leader. In fact, as part of Mulally's new Ford strategy, he developed plastic cards that listed four expected behaviors on one side and a new definition of the company on the other side. One element of the new definition is "Work together effectively as a team" (Hellriegel Slocum, 2011).

3. Discuss how goal setting help Ford improve its performance.

Alan Mulally was very successful at Boeing and was able to take that experience and apply it to his strategy and goals for Ford. Mulally developed four basic goals; focus on the Ford brand, compete in every market segment with carefully defined products, market fewer products, and become best in class in quality, fuel efficiency, safety, and value (Hellriegel Slocum,



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