Subtitle: Great Leaders Develop Great Leadership Systems
By anyone’s definition, Allan Mulally is an outstanding leader. He joined the Boeing Company right out of college in 1969. When he left in 2006 he was CEO and President of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In September of 2006 he was named President and CEO of Ford Motor Company. He is credited with turning around a failing automotive company that had lost $30 Billion, 25% of its market share and was on the verge of running out of cash. In 2014 he retired after a very successful eight years. He was succeed by the Mark Fields, Chief Operations Officer, who held the post for three years until he was fired and Jim Hackett was hired.
So just looking at Ford from an outside perspective, Ford Motor Company was so lacking intelligent and capable leaders that it was forced to go outside their system, which included a high profile leadership development program, to hire a guy who had spent a career building airplanes. The new guy saved the company but then his successor was so stupid that he was fired after three years. The newest CEO is said to be more “visionary”. Instead of building a solid leadership system, it sounds like Ford is looking for another messianic savior. Their system of leadership is still a failure.
Mulally is credited with turning around the culture at Ford. Really? Then Fields must have destroyed because the value of Ford stock has been in decline since Mulally left. Maybe it is time corporate America stops looking for the next messiah and starts building leadership systems.