The book, American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company, gives the inside story of the epic turnaround of Ford under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally.
At the end of 2008, Ford was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, the US Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself.
Under Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dysfunctional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses. As the rest of Detroit collapsed, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most profitable automaker in the world. Mulally and his team pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in business history.
One of Mulally’s core tenets was the concept of joyful accountability. Kindly listen to this short audio clip of Alan explaining his approach. Notice it doesn’t require any special skill, it only requires persistence and discipline. This 4 minute excerpt is taken from Patrick Lencioni’s podcast called Lean in to Discomfort.