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Ford Leadership Essay

1859 words - 8 pages

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

Leadership is essential to impacting positive organizational performance. Leadership can also negatively impact organizations. Leadership develops a vision and ideas to focus an organization (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). An organization should develop competencies to create individual, team and organizational effectiveness. Hellriegel & Slocum (2011) developed a model listing seven competencies that apply to an organization’s leadership as well as all employees. The competencies are self, change, teams, communication, diversity and across cultures. The seventh competency, ethics, is in the center and ...view middle of the document...

The laissez-faire leader requires that the people come to a decision with the leader being hands off. Leaders can use a combination of all three of the styles depending on a given situation; however, one style will usually be dominant and have a direct impact on organizational performance. The democratic style proved to be more effective when conducting the experiments since the autocratic style was too rigid and required less interaction and the laissez-faire style showed that people needed to be led.
Discuss Mulally’s leadership style at Ford Motor Company and provide examples of how his actions fit this style.

Mulally could be described as a transformational leader. James Burns (1978) first developed the theory of transformational leadership stating “leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation" (pg. 20). In short, a transformational leader orchestrates change. Hellriegel and Slocum (2011) suggest transformational leaders display four core components including consideration of others, the ability to encourage intellectual stimulation, provide inspirational motivation by what they say and do and foster idealized influence through charisma.
Mulally is effective when comparing his leadership style to the four core components of transformational leadership. Mulally demonstrates individualized consideration or listening to follower’s concerns by involving all of his functional managers. Every Thursday, Mulally conducts weekly meeting with all of his managers. This enhances communications amongst the other managers and in turn allows every manager to hear what is going on in other departments. Mulally doesn’t allow side bar conversations to occur. He fosters respect between the 12 different functional heads. Mulally has been able to develop an environment that is collaborative (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011).
Mulally stimulates the intellectual process or thinking outside of the box. As an example, Mulally designated color codes for reports he receives, green equals good or on track, yellow indicates caution and red depicts a problem. Mulally encourages his managers to look at the report colors and make honest coding assessments but more importantly, if a report is coded yellow or red, managers should determine the strategy to fix or identify what needs modified to get to a green status (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). This allows his managers to come up with their own ideas and techniques to solve problems within their portfolio.
Inspirational motivation is another component used by Mulally. He articulates the vision of the organization through constant communication. Mulally doesn’t believe in secrets. As stated previously, Mulally disseminates laminated cards that highlight the expected behaviors to achieve the set vision and another card that reminds everyone what the purpose of the company is or the concept of One Ford (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). Mulally also constantly reinforces...

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