Explain why Alan Mulally was an effective and ethical leader? Give examples and relate to leadership theory. Which leadership style did he exercise? What things can be learned from his leadership that will help you within your own organization?
Your question has multiple parts.
The first part of the question is how effective and ethical Alan Mulally is as a leader. Looking at what he was able to accomplish as the CEO of Ford it is apparent that he turned the company around. In 2006 Ford posted a multi-billion dollar loss, which was the year Mulally took the helm. Over the next few years Mulally turned the company around, eventually leading Ford to 5 consecutive years of positive growth. Mulally used his vision and operating philosophy to return Ford to profitability (Nisen, 2013; McKinsey, 2013). The elements that made Mulally an effective and ethical leader was how he approached the organization. Mulally was a catalyst for change, an advocate for his entire organization, and a visionary who was able to get stakeholders to buy into his vision. In essence what made him so effective was his willingness to make the changes necessary to bring Ford back into profitability and the charisma to get people to buy into his vision. The changes Mulally made changed the culture at Ford, created an environment where innovation matters, team work is fostered, and the entire corporation begin operating as a cohesive team. Mulally also streamlined and simplified the organization. In order to accomplish this he leveraged transformational leadership theory which enabled him to be effective and ethical.
Give examples and relate to leadership theory and which leadership style did he exercise.
There is support for Mulally as a transformational leader in the literature. For example McElroy (2012) placed Mulally as a transformational leader, with that being said it is not difficult to line up Mulally's actions with transformational leadership theory. Nisen (2013) stated that Mulally's humble leadership style incorporates getting employees to understand and buy-in to the leader's vision. This approach ensures that the employees are onboard with the vision, optimistic about the future, and excited about their jobs. At its most basic, transformational leadership is about managing change. Mulally made major ...
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