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Book Summary

Leaders are Learners

American Icon
Business men go down with their businesses because they like the old way so well they cannot bring themselves to change. - Henry Ford

The Summary In Brief

Alan Mulallys management style, emphasis on the senior leadership team, and extensive use of data, saved The Ford Motor Company.

Five Things You Need To Know

1. Understand your Mandate This is a partnership, Alan is going to be CEO, and Im going to be executive chairman, and were going to be working closely on all of these issues. Bill Ford p.92 2. Understand the Business ! By the time Alan Mulally started at Ford he had assembled ve giant loose-leaf notebooks full of research, observations and key metrics he felt were necessary to turn Ford around. Performance, product, process and people.p.71 3. Build, then Utilize Your Team At his introductory press conference Mulally was asked if he was going to bring in his own team. My team is right here...Its us. Thats the number-one thing. Its not going to be a strategy department...Its going to be the leadership team that decides where we are going.p.94 4. Provide an Honest Assessment of the Problem ! We have a lot of brands. We have a lot of nameplates. We have very complex product offerings...I think there is a tremendous opportunity to simplify, consolidate, and focus Ford. p.98 5. Create a simple plan then communicate it over and over again. ! Mulally didnt care what his plan was called. He was more interested in making sure that it was simple, straightforward and religiously adhered to by the entire organization. - Bryce Hoffman

Alan Mulallys Wins Simplified the product line Simplified the dealer network. Simplified the Union Work Rules Simplified global supply platforms.

American Icon by Bryce Hoffman

The Business Plan Review Meeting Purpose: Laser-like focus on each area of the business. Format: Weekly, mandatory attendance, no side conversations, no personal devices, no discussions or debate (that happens at the Special Attention Review meeting which follows the BAR). Who Attends: CEO, CFO, President of the Americas, Ford Credit CEO, VP of Global Product Development, VP of Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, VP of Global Purchasing, CP of Quality, VP of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, CIO, VP of Human Resources and Corporate Services, General Counsel, VP of Global Marketing, Sales and Service, VP of Communications. Each executive is the only speaker during their remarks, no questions may be deferred to a subordinate. Up to 30 Guests are allowed to attend but not participate. Agenda: The CEO starts with the point of the meeting, and provides a high level overview of the business. He then states if the business is on or off plan, and what if any changes have taken place from the week before. After the CEO, each Senior Executive has a set period of time (usually 10 minutes) to provide the same information. The idea is not to shame or humiliate anyone but to provide a status on EVERY corner of the business. Any questions that are posed will be answered in the meeting the following week. We will see each other again.