Leadership Traits, Behaviors, and Styles

One of the most surprising recent success stories in the corporate world was the turnaround of the Ford Motor Company under the leadership of CEO Alan Mulally. Ford went from near bankruptcy in 2006 when Mulally took over to a company that had posted 19 straight quarters of profitability by the time Mulally retired in 2014. What accounts for Mullaly’s tremendous success in turning Ford around?

Review the background materials on leadership traits, behaviors, and styles. Then do some research on Alan Mulally’s leadership style and personality. Here are a few articles to get you started:

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Bunkley, N. (2016) HALL PASS: The legend of Alan Mulally is larger than ever. Now he’s headed for the Automotive Hall of Fame. Automotive News. 90.7630 1 [ProQuest]

Emmons, C. (2015) Regaining Organizational Health and Vitality: Ford Motor Company’s Positive Adaption to the Challenges of the Automotive Industry Crisis People and Strategy, 38 (1) 46-50. [ProQuest]

Once you are finished with your research on Mulally and have thoroughly reviewed the background materials on leadership traits, behaviors, and styles, write a four- to five-page paper addressing the following questions. Be sure to use in-text citations and references; including citations to the background material.

  1. How would you describe Mulally’s personality and leadership traits? Refer to the background textbook material on leadership traits, and consider the common traits listed in the background texts such as drive, intelligence, integrity, and self-confidence.
  2. Would you describe Mulally’s behavior as being task-oriented, or people-centered/relationship-oriented? Refer to background text material on leader behaviors.
  3. How would you describe Mulally’s leadership style? Consider leadership style discussed in the background text materials such as autocratic style, participative/democratic style, and laissez-faire/free-rein style.
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