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1. Discuss the role of leadership and how it can impact organizational performance

Research conducted over the years has proven that leaders have great influence in the performance of an organization. Organizations require high level of leadership in order to achieve their set objectives. As time advances, there are new challenges that face an organization such as change in government policies, technological advances, and dynamic work attitudes. This is a practical reminder that for an organization to survive and prosper in such turbulent times, it must get visionary leadership. This kind of leadership should the top priority of an organization to achieve their goal and survive the changing times. The leadership put in place must be that which has a wealth of experience and a remarkable legacy of competency in the line of business the organization is engaged in. notably, many organizations use attribution theory where casualty is most likely to be attributed to the events. The need to understand the events that occur in an organization is attributed to the leadership in place by name. When such leaders succeed their success is considered to be heroic by both the management and the employees. The future succession of leadership in an organization is measured by the perception of the outgoing leader. If this theory is true, then a greater percentage of success in organizations is always attributed to great leaders (Hitt, 2009).

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2. Discuss Mulally’s leadership style at Ford Motor Company and provide examples of how his actions fit this style

Allan Mulally, the current CEO of Ford Corporation is considered one of the best leaders in the world. The success in ford Corporation during his tenure is attributed to him. When he joined the Corporation he found it making losses, he however transformed it to a profit-making venture that is now respected all over the world. He made several strategic decisions that saw Ford move to the top of the industry even during the hard times of economic recession. His leadership style is relentless. He never gives up until the best is done. This is a typical characteristic of a visionary leadership.  With his directive, Ford formed organizational chimneys’. These organizational structures enabled proper vertical relationship amongst the workers. This was also meant to prevent any possible horizontal linkages. There was also a change in managerial attitudes, simplifying managerial control by getting rid of all dysfunctional structures. The move also involved devolving authority bestowed on managers and clearly existing barriers between managerial groups. This in deed was a critical move with strategic significance. It led to the shift of the corporation to innovation pegged on manufacturing, interaction of design and marketing.

Prior to his arrival at Ford, he carried out a lot of research, performing a SWOT analysis of the corporation. He interviewed several employees and consultants on the affairs of Ford Corporation. It is from his study on the corporation that he came up with a strategy to revive the auto company and bring it back to business. He transformed every part of that organization. He set new meeting times for the employees that were considered much flexible; they did not have to carry their big books since screens were introduced to illustrate their explanations during the meeting. He came up with color-coding, where green indicated good progress, yellow indicated average performance while red was to show poor performance of the products in the market. This helped them to know at a glance the performance of the whole corporation. The introduction of these features enabled the engineers at Ford to be more productive at work as well as meet the demands of the work with more flexibility.

3. Discuss how goal setting helped Ford improve its performance

Immediately Mulally joined Ford, he came up with set goals and objectives that were to be fulfilled within a given period. He promised that in 2010 he would make profits just like other corporations like GM and Chrysler. It planned to introduce efficient cars like focus, Fusion and Fiesta. Ford Corporation also planned to manufacture electric cars in 2010. This enabled Mulally to overtake other competitors like GM and Chrysler. As it was projected, Ford took over 25% of the two competitors had lost. Proper planning and goal setting was the main key to these achievements. His goals were SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Mulally set goals not only to the top management but to each employee in that corporation. Everyone one worked towards achieving something at the end of the day. They therefore devoted all their resources both human and conceptual skill in attaining these goals. They had goals on how to beat the other competitors, how to make much profits and how to be the best in that industry. Ford Corporation does not take loans from the government like other companies do, but they are now the best in that industry in the Unites States (Hitt, 2009).

4. Assess Mulally on each element in communication openness including message transmission, trust, agendas and goals

One of the greatest achievements attributed to Allan Mulally is his openness in communication which he exemplifies across all levels in the Ford Corporation. He realized the need for effective communication throughout the organization. He demonstrated this by ensuring that there was communication from and to his office by all employees at all levels while working on various projects. With this, he was able to tell the performance of the corporation at all levels. On his first day at Ford Corporation, he wanted to know the products that were not in stock. In making follow-ups for the corporations product line, Mulally  paid keen attention to the reasons why those products had not been produced. It is from this meeting with the top management that he came up with goals on how to reintroduce these products to the market. He is said to be one of the most trustworthy leaders by his employees on how he disseminates information and the agendas of the corporation. He considers all personnel as part of the company and they should therefore know every strategy the company is engaging in to achieve greater results.                       

5. Evaluate the effectiveness of Mulally’s leadership style and recommend whether he should continue with this style, or use a different style

Thus far, Mulally’s style of leadership has given reasonable achievements in the Ford Corporation. With the scorecard used in most organization, his goals are very specific, when he set out to beat the other competitors he looked for a more sustainable source of finance to run the functions of the Ford Corporation . His  leadership style is also accurate given that the set goals are achievable and are not ambiguous. The goals formulated for the Ford Corporation are simple and concise which facilities their attainment by the employees tasked with different roles . His style is also considered realistic in nature. When he came to Ford, there was pressure to deliver. In such cases, most people would snap and expect a lot from the limited resources, which may end up being strained and therefore less productive. He only stretched the available resources to a reasonable extend. It would be right to say that Allan Mulally continues with his style of leadership because it has been tried and tested.

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