Alan Mulally served as president and chief executive officer of the Ford Motor Company and as a member of Ford’s board of directors from 2006 - 2014.
Mulally led Ford’s transformation into one of the world’s leading automobile companies and the #1 automobile brand in the United States. He guided Ford in working together on a compelling vision, comprehensive strategy, and implementation of the One Ford plan to deliver profitable growth for all of the company’s stakeholders.
Prior to joining Ford, Mulally served as executive vice president of the Boeing Company, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and president of Boeing Information, Space and Defense Systems from 1969 – 2006 where he created his “Working Together” Leadership and Management System.
Throughout his career, Mulally has developed and nurtured his “Working Together” Leadership and Management System and Its Connected Culture of Love by Design to create value for all the stakeholders and the greater good. Mulally has been recognized for his contributions, industry leadership, and service, including being named #3 on Fortune’s “World’s Greatest Leaders,” one of the 30 “World’s Best CEO’s” by Barrons’ magazine, one of “The World’s Most influential People” by Time magazine, “Chief Executive of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine, and the Leader of the Future by the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute in 2006. He was also honored with the American Society for Quality’s medal for excellence in executive leadership, the Automotive Executive of the Year, and the Thomas Edison Achievement Award. Mulally is a Museum of Flight Pathfinder and a member of the Automobile Hall of Fame.
Mulally previously served on President Obama’s United States Export Council. He served as co-chairman of the Washington Competitiveness Council and has served on the advisory boards of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the University of Washington, the University of Kansas, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the United StatesAir Force Scientific Advisory Board. Mulally has also served as President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association. Mulally is a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of England’s Royal Academy of Engineering.
Mulally currently serves on the board of directors of Google, Carbon 3D, and the Mayo Clinic. Mulally holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Kansas, and a Masters in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.
Work Is Love Made Visible - Book Foreword by Alan Mulally
When Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Sarah McArthur asked me to write the foreword for their edited compilation book, Work Is Love Made Visible, my answer to their
request was a heartfelt and enthusiastic, “Yes!”
What an honor for me to be part of the latest creation of three of my heroes, whose work and leadership I admire and have benefited from so much.
I immediately read the book cover to cover and was deeply struck by its leadership messages and the way in which the book is organized. The leadership messages cause us to reflect on our purpose and our passions. It is about what matters so much to each of us that we want to share it with others. And, the book is organized in such a way that each contributor’s reflections on Frances’s question, When I look out the window, what is visible but not yet seen by others?, supports one of Frances’s five philosophies on leadership.
- Leadership Is a Matter of How to Be, Not How to Do
- To Serve Is to Live
- Defining Moments
- Be Ye an Opener of Doors
- Bright Future!
Reading each contributor’s reflections inspired me to answer Frances’s question myself!
When I look out the window, what is visible but not yet seen by others? I see talented and motivated people working together for the greater good. I see three components that are absolutely critical to the true success of any venture, company, product, or life: Humility, Love and Service. And, I see the unique contribution of a leader to hold themselves and their leadership team responsible and accountable for creating a smart and healthy organization that is delivering value for the greater good.
Reflecting on Frances’s question invited me to reflect about my own leadership journey and how it might serve to help you uncover and realize your own purpose as you study this book.
Growing up, we lived with very modest means. Even so, I was incredibly fortunate, because my parents loved me and believed that I could make a significant difference and contribution to our world. To this end, they taught me these lessons that I have carried with me throughout my life:
- The purpose of life is to love and be loved - in that order
- To serve is to live
- Seek to understand before seeking to be understood
- By working together with others, you can make the most positive contribution to the most people
- Respect everyone, we are all creatures of God, and worthy to be loved
- Develop one integrated life to deliver your life’s work
And, like all kids, I wanted to fit in. I wanted a pair of Levi jeans, some Weejuns penny loafers, and a car and college some day. So, with my parent’s teachings and encouragement, I decided my way forward was to serve and maybe I could earn those special jeans.
I started “work” with TV Guide and newspaper routes and then a lawn mowing business. I was a bagger, checker, then night manager at the Dillons grocery store. I was a carpenter, ranch and farm hand. I played sports and was my college fraternity rush chairman and president. All the while I learned aerospace engineering at summer jobs at Beechcraft, Cessna, Boeing, and the University of Kansas.
Starting with my very first “work”, I became very aware of the power and advantages of “working together” with all the stakeholders associated with my service...my customers, parents, family, employers, employees, suppliers, communities, competitors, bankers, and investors.
I looked at each “work” as service and I loved serving! I loved asking my customers what they wanted and valued and the appreciative smiles on their faces for my service. I loved learning and growing and exceeding their expectations! And, I loved the satisfaction I felt when I meaningfully contributed to making people’s lives better. I loved working together with all the stakeholders to create value for everyone. And I continued to refine and improve my following Working Together Principles & Practices through my “work”.
- People First
- Everyone Is Included
- Compelling Vision, Comprehensive Strategy, And Relentless Implementation
- Clear Performance Goals
- One Plan
- Facts And Data ... We Can’t Manage A Secret ... The Data Sets Us Free
- Everyone Knows Plan, Status, And 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...And No Humor At Other’s Expense
As the scope of my service grew at Boeing and then later at Ford, I developed and continued to refine my following Working Together Management System to implement my Working Together Principles & Practices for the product programs and businesses I supported and led. My Working Together Management System proved to be a very reliable process with clear expected behaviors to manage our organizations, including all of our stakeholders, to sustainably deliver value for the greater good in our rapidly changing world.
- Our Governance Process
- Our Leadership Team
- Our Working Together Principles & Practices
- Our Creating Value Roadmap Process
- Our Business Plan Review Process
- Our Leadership’s Unique Responsibility and Contribution
My Life's Work
This, my life’s work, the Working Together Principles, Practices and Management System, is how I have made my love visible. It is a system that leaders can use to work together for the greater good. And it is this book based on Frances’s inspired question that has led me to take the next steps in my journey, to make my love visible yet again by sharing my Working Together Principles, Practices and Management System in this brief foreword.
I hope you will read this book and soak it all in! Take in everything that these wonderful thought leaders and contributors have to teach us. Then ask yourself Frances’ question, When I look out the window, what is visible but not yet seen by others? Ponder, analyze, and reflect on your purpose. Explore and discover what is important to you and then do that at “work” and in your actions. When you do, you will find that your love is visible to you and to others, and you will be well on your way to being a leader who is helping us all work towards the greater good!
Thank you Frances, Marshall, and Sarah for inspiring each of us to make our love visible!