Lead by Design: Interview with Alan Mulally

Alan Mulally is the leader I speak about the most – in my book and with clients.

He turned around two iconic companies during existential economic crises that were seemingly tailor-made to destroy each – Boeing during 9/11 and Ford during the 2008 Recession. This is a feat few others, if any, can match.

What I also admire about Alan is that not only did he do this, twice, but is one of the kindest and humblest people I have ever met.

One of my favorite podcasts is The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish. Shane interviews Alan on his work at Ford, his family life, and his Working Together principles.

The key element for me is how Alan, over 30 years of leadership, crafted some basic principles of how to lead any group of people (organization, family, etc.). Those principles are:

  • People first
  • Everyone is included
  • Compelling vision, comprehensive strategy, and relentless implementation
  • Clear performance goals
  • One plan
  • Facts and Data
  • Everyone knows the plan, the status, and the areas that need special attention
  • Propose a plan, positive, “find a way” attitude
  • Respect, listen, help, and appreciate each other
  • Emotional resilience – trust the process
  • Have fun – enjoy the journey and each other

Over the past couple of years, Alan and I have gotten to know each other. He reached out to me after reading an article I wrote about his work at Ford. In that article, I shared how closely his work aligned with what I learned after decades of study and have been teaching my clients. I am better for that connection and continue to learn from Alan. As he stated, “we are brothers from different mothers”.

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

Please reach out to me if you would like to learn more.


Be Exceptional!

Bill – Multi-certified Growth Coach, Foundations in NeuroLeadership certified, PI Certified Partner, 100COACHES member coach

(bill@catalystgrowthadvisors.com;www.catalystgrowthadvisors.com) For MA companies ONLY, as an approved Training and Development provider, Catalyst Growth Advisors can offer up to 50% off program fees. Click here to see if you qualify.

Please click here to download or purchase my book Further, Faster – The Vital Few Steps that Take the Guesswork out of Growth.

Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

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