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American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company
 
 

American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company [Kindle Edition]

Bryce G. Hoffman

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

“A standout…brimming with smart observations and fresh insights into Ford’s success.” –Alex Taylor, Fortune
 
“Fly-on-the-wall accounts of Mulally negotiating deals and Ford overcoming challenges from the inside and outside…A paean to the ingenuity, grit and optimism that once defined American industry and to capitalism played with government on the sidelines.” Reuters
 
“A compelling narrative that reads more like a thriller than a business book.” New York Times
 
“A must-read.” Huffington Post
 
“A fascinating read for anyone who follows the car industry.” –Financial Times

“A Detroit News journalist’s in-the-room account of the resurrection of America’s most storied car company…With colorful anecdotes, sharp character sketches, telling details and a firm understanding of the industry, Hoffman fleshes out every aspect of this tale, reminding us of the hard work, tension, and high-stakes drama that preceded the successful result.” —Kirkus

“Bryce Hoffman has done a stellar job of capturing the Ford storyand more to the point showing us how Mulally did it.  American Icon is a story of leadership that offers valuable lessons for organizations of all sizes.” —Lee Iacocca

“Bryce G. Hoffman’s American Icon brilliantly recounts the Lazarus-like resurgence of the Ford Motor Company under the bold and inspiring leadership of CEO Alan Mulally. Hoffman, one of America’s best auto industry reporters, has written a timely book about the relevance of Ford that serves as a larger metaphor for America at large. Highly recommend!” —Douglas Brinkley, professor of history, Rice University, and author of Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress
 
“Bryce Hoffman has written a riveting tome based on deep insider information about the resurrection of the Ford Motor Company from a near death experience and the establishment of a business model that promises to be a prototype for large organizations of all types. It features the transformation from a top-down style of leadership to that of a coach led by CEO Alan Mulally whose focus is the team, the team, the team.” —David E. Cole, chairman emeritus, Center for Automotive Research
 
“From the precipitous demise of an American icon through decades of infighting and self-destructive management to a turnaround not only financial but also in terms of forging the foundation of a new, healthy culture, this book reads like an un-put-downable novel. Bryce Hoffman’s amazing inside access tells the story of how Alan Mullally built on Henry Ford’s own management principles—which quickly got lost in the company—and created one company, with one purpose and a passion for product and customers. A great story.” —Jeffrey Liker, professor, University of Michigan, and author of The Toyota Way

Amazing. I would give Alan Mulally twelve D’s for his work at Ford, for Discipline, Data, Daring, Determination, Design, Direction, Decisiveness, Delivery, Doubt-Free, Debt Free, Downsizing, and of course, Dearborn.  I thought I was disciplined until I read how Mulally worked. Bryce is a gifted writer, and American Icon is both educational and entertaining.  Most telling of allI learned from reading this book.” —Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President, Walt Disney World Resort, and author of Creating Magic
 
“After decades of stories about the failure of America’s traditional industries to meet world competition, it is heartening to encounter a signal success. But Bryce Hoffman’s rendering of how Alan Mulally reversed the fortunes of Ford Motor is more than heartening; it is riveting. Almost certainly one of the best business books of the year.” —H. W. Brands, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of Traitor to His Class and The First American

“This superbly reported book is not just about cars. It is an authoritative and inspiring account of leadership, management, corporate culture, and the prospects for American manufacturing.”John Taylor, author of Storming the Magic Kingdom


From the Hardcover edition.

Kurzbeschreibung

THE INSIDE STORY OF THE EPIC TURNAROUND OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF CEO ALAN MULALLY.
 
At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan 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. It was an extraordinary risk, but it was the only way the Ford family—America’s last great industrial dynasty—could hold on to their company.
 
Mulally and his team pulled off one of the great­est comebacks in business history. As the rest of Detroit collapsed, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most profitable automaker in the world.
 
American Icon is the compelling, behind-the-scenes account of that epic turnaround. On the verge of collapse, Ford went outside the auto industry and recruited Mulally—the man who had already saved Boeing from the deathblow of 9/11—to lead a sweeping restructuring of a company that had been unable to overcome decades of mismanage­ment and denial. Mulally applied the principles he developed at Boeing to streamline Ford’s inefficient operations, force its fractious executives to work together as a team, and spark a product renaissance in Dearborn. He also convinced the United Auto Workers to join his fight for the soul of American manufacturing.
 
Bryce Hoffman reveals the untold story of the covert meetings with UAW leaders that led to a game-changing contract, Bill Ford’s battle to hold the Ford family together when many were ready to cash in their stock and write off the company, and the secret alliance with Toyota and Honda that helped prop up the Amer­ican automotive supply base.
 
In one of the great management narratives of our time, Hoffman puts the reader inside the boardroom as Mulally uses his celebrated Business Plan Review meet­ings to drive change and force Ford to deal with the painful realities of the American auto industry.
 
Hoffman was granted unprecedented access to Ford’s top executives and top-secret company documents. He spent countless hours with Alan Mulally, Bill Ford, the Ford family, former executives, labor leaders, and company directors. In the bestselling tradition of Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, American Icon is narrative nonfiction at its vivid and colorful best.


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Amazon.com: 4.8 von 5 Sternen  246 Rezensionen
45 von 47 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If you liked the Walter Isaacson book "Steve Jobs", you are going to love this one on Alan Mulally. Both are of similiar quality 11. Februar 2012
Von S. Power - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I highly recommend that you read this book and fully agree with what the other positive reviewers are saying about it. This book itself was not just a good read about a stalwart man, and an incredible company, it is an epic tail of a Great American Manufacturing Dynasty brought back from the brink of extinction. Reading it really inspired me to learn even more about Mulally, The Ford Motor Company, and their products. After reading the book, or while you wait for it to arrive, check out some of the videos and movies about Alan Mulally on the internet. His appearances at local universities, on late night talk shows, and in a documentary done about his work at Boeing all make for really interesting supplements to this book.

This book is different from, but every bit as well done as Walter Isaacson's book on Steve Jobs. Both of the biographies are appealing in many of the same ways. You get a history lesson, a solid business book, a solid overview of the automotive industry, a human interest story, and a biography not just of Mulally but also of other key people in the industry. You also get a really fully developed business case study that demonstrates the lessons of teamwork, core competency, strategic management, benchmarking, business ethics, the importance of liquidity among many other concepts. Although Steve Jobs and Alan Mulally are as different as two men can be, I see similarities in their importance, vision, and impact on the World. Their biographers and their biographies are also very different, but again similar in quality and importance.

The factual accuracy of this book seems to be very good. Bryce Hoffman has a lot of credibility in this part of the country and it doesn't seem that he has any agenda except to tell the story and write a good book. At times, he seems to be exaggerating the dichotomy of how bad Ford was and how great Alan Mulally and Bill Ford were, but a lot of people I know deep inside ford have the same opinions. I don't think that the author has any nefarious agenda in writing this book, and he is so hard on the automotive insiders in this country that I don't think anyone will accuse him of being self-serving. In the last chapter he does a nice job of pointing out how no one man saved Ford and reaffirming the strengths that some of the 'characters' brought to the situation.

The entire book is suspenseful and captivating from start to finish and in the events or perspective of each chapter. There are really funny anecdotes throughout the book and more than enough drama to keep even fiction readers interested. There is also a lot in this book that will make for worthy quoting. The chapter starters are all relevant quotes from Henry Ford himself, but there are also a lot of very useful and powerful quotations from more recent people, events, and situations.

The biography is written in a non-sequential style that can be a little unwieldy because it requires that you really keep on your toes about how the events relate as they are addressed in the various chapters. Despite this small flaw, or choice of style, the book is well organized, and I think the author made the right decision, overall in the presentation of the information. Just be prepared to have to go back sometimes to refresh your memory about where in time the topics that are being discussed occurred.

These two biographies, this one and Isaacson's, are the most thorough and well done books in a very long time. I highly recommend that you read this one and consider tabbing it as you go. I wish I had tabbed mine as I went. There is certainly a lot of information that I'll be referring back to as I try to emulate some of Mulally's successes and avoid the pitfalls that are highlighted.

If there was anything that you wanted me to cover in this review that I failed to, please let me know in the comments and I'll go back and cover them. I want this to be useful for you.
25 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating, page-turning, idea-inspiring! 1. März 2012
Von James Korsmo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Simply put, this book is a page-turner. And that's not what you'd normally expect from a business book. But there's a great story here, well told, that excites the mind.

There hasn't really been a bigger story in the last half-decade than the economy, and along with the banking and housing sectors, America's "big three" automotive manufacturers have been key players in that story. But amid an economy in decline and two cross-town rivals falling toward default, Ford managed to plot a different course. This book is the story of that startling rebirth. It briefly chronicles the history of Ford, appraising its ups and downs and the resulting corporate culture its history had created. And it looks at the trouble it was facing (along with the rest of the auto industry) in the mid 2000s. But things took a decisive change for Ford when Bill Ford Jr. volunteered to step aside as CEO and bring in outside help. And the person he tapped for that responsibility was Alan Mullaly, a top executive who had just led a resurgence at Boeing.

American Icon is really three books in one: It is an interesting piece of modern American history, chronicling the inside workings of a key economic player in the midst of historic economic troubles throughout the country and the world. It is also a business book, with thoughtful and inspiring ideas for rethinking corporate culture, business workflows, and entrenched mindsets with cross-functional teams, openness, responsibility, and a carefully focused but always updating plan. And third, it is an interesting biography of both Bill Ford Jr. and Alan Mullaly, giving insight into their personalities and approaches to business.

Mulally's ideas of emphasizing simplicity, comporting vision with reality, and demanding open collaboration and communication among team members worked wonders at Ford. He paints a compelling picture of how a corporate structure (at whatever level) could work constructively and agilely to effect productive change and breed success. I often had to put the book down so I could jot down ideas for making some of his principles work in my own workplace. This business book almost pulls new ideas out of you by stimulating your thinking; at least, it did for me.

I loved this book, and am happy to enthusiastically recommend it. It's a fascinating case study in successful business coupled with compelling modern history told as a fast-moving story. You will not be bored; in fact, you'll be pulled in to Mulally's vision as you see it unfold before you.
20 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Visionary 6. März 2012
Von sneaky-sneaky - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Simply put, Ford is now exciting. Bryce Hoffman explains why and how. Alan Mullally was brought in to save a legend from itself, and he did just that. The Mulally model will probably be studied and taught for decades. Ford's culture was poisonous at so many levels. Bad products, bad policies, and a toxic culture of backstabbing and oneupmanship had culminated in what would be an inevitable end. Executives bugged each other's offices, phones were tapped, vehicles were overproduced and later sold at discounts; and that culture was decades old. Henry Ford started it all when a bunch of guys went behind his back, made some improvements to the Model T, and delivered a prototype. Ford destroyed it with a sledgehammer.
Bryce Hoffman was given unprecedented access and provides direct quotes from many of the defining moments and situations that occurred over the last decade, including talks with the Chrysler and GM CEOs, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, candidate Obama, the Ford heirs, and so on. There have been complaints that the book is overly optimistic bordering on worshipful. Well, all you need to do is look at the product. I walked around a dealership. Ford's new vehicles look great, and the company now has the highest quality rating for a non-luxury brand. In the book you read about the current advertising campaign that was conceived several years ago. Ford started off with 'One Ford' or something, and as quality improved, Mulally wanted to move to interviews with customers impressed with the new product; in other words using actual customers to sell great vehicles. And that is exactly what is happening today.
Mr. Hoffman has been an auto industry reporter for a number of years and knows what stories are relevant, where the bodies are buried, and where the shovels are at.
15 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Suspenseful and well-written account of Alan Mulally's battle to save Ford 25. Januar 2012
Von K. Corn - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Books about businesses- and the individuals who head them - can often come across as thinly veiled promos for the companies and CEOs. As a result, they often have me yawning before I've gotten through the first chapter.

But American Icon is a major exception. Yes, the focus is on Alan Mulally (Ford CEO) and how he achieved a stunning turnaround for Ford. But Bryce G. Hoffman also provides plenty of information about Bill Ford Jr. (Executive Chairman at Ford) , other major players, and the dynamics of the Ford family...power struggles, tensions, triumphs, and all..

Relevant quotes from Henry Ford introduce each chapter, a very nice touch, connecting the automobile company's past and present. An example: "We do not make changes for the sake of making them, but we never fail to make a change when once it is demonstrated that the new way is better than the old way." This quote heads the chapter entitled 'The Revolution Begins.'

It is important for potential readers to know that this book isn't a simple puff piece for Mullaly, doing nothing but singing his praises. Instead, it is a hard-hitting and very honest portrayal of some very tough years at Ford, significant enough to potentially bankrupt the company. When Mulally came on the scene, the company - and company executives- didn't work well. Executives fought with each other. Unity was rare. Toyota was leaving Ford in the dust. The economy was hitting one of the worst periods in history.

Its no wonder that Mulally had to be wooed- and heavily - to agree to leave his job at Boeing and come to Ford. While intrigued, he was also reluctant and actually turned down the initial job offer. After all, he'd already fended off major threats to Boeing and gotten due credit for leading the company to record sales, revenue, and earnings. Why would he want to enter the trenches again?

Even after agreeing to work for Ford, Mulally faced what seemed like an insurmountable task. At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was about to go bankrupt - and that is no exaggeration. In addition to that bleak reality, Mullaly also had to deal with the UAW, an economy that was tanking and challenges he couldn't even begin to foresee. As tough as he thought the job would be, it became far more difficult than he could envision.

Among other challenges, Mulally quickly discovered that executives often exaggerated their sales estimates or other data, making it hard to figure out the truth behind the numbers given. So Mulally put in place what was to become a bedrock of his corporate meetings: the BPR or business plan review. He went even further by making SENIOR execs (yes, worth stressing) - and not their assistants - do the presentations for their departments. This was akin to a revolutionary move. It met with resistance but credit Bill Ford Jr. with supporting Mulally.

During a particularly harsh period in our economy, one which isn't over yet ( as of today's date), what Mulally accomplished is nothing short of miraculous. And reading about what transpired had my heart racing. Moment to moment suspense and drama fill the pages of this behind the scenes look at the battle to save Ford. In order to create such a compelling work, the author conducted well over a hundred interviews with Ford executives, other business leaders, Ford family members, and of course Alan Mulally. Perhaps that is why I felt like I was sitting in many of the meetings, listening to every discussion, and being privy to the game plan for saving Ford...a game plan that was tweaked, however often, to adapt to critical economic and other factors at Ford as well as the U.S. and world economy.
11 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Boring Business Book? Not This One! 16. März 2012
Von Terry Sunday - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
My last American car was a 1971 Chevrolet Camaro, for which I traded in a 1965 Ford Mustang convertible (I wish I had it now!). Other than those two, all the vehicles I've owned have been British, German or Japanese. As an avid gearhead, I've subscribed to "Car & Driver" and "Road & Track" for most of my adult life, and followed the ups and downs of the automobile industry through articles in their pages. I've rented more than my share of cars over the years, many of them Fords, so I've had some opportunities to check out the brand. As an aerospace engineer, I knew about the superb reputation Alan Mulally gained in leading the development of Boeing's latest commercial airliners. Thus I was very interested in reading this book that targeted several of my interests: Bryce G. Hoffman's "American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company."

Mr. Hoffman's detailed story of Ford's decline and resurrection over the last decade or so is not what you might expect from a "business book." Rather, his masterful, well-crafted tale of the turnaround of a huge, iconic American corporation reads with the page-turning immediacy of a best-selling novel. In his clear, lucid and highly accessible text, he explains exactly why and how Ford got itself into near-bankruptcy, and how Alan Mulally, the "white knight" that Ford CEO Bill Ford, Jr., lured away from his highly successful career at Boeing, rode in and led the team of able executives that rescued the faltering automaker.

Mr. Hoffman describes Mulally's bold, often unprecedented, actions with great clarity, liberally quoting from meeting transcripts and conversations such that the reader feels she or he was present at the discussions. He presents esoteric financial concepts and complex contractual issues accurately and completely, but in terms casual readers can easily understand. "American Icon" is mostly the story of the team of people that saved Ford, but it doesn't scrimp in touching on the technical details of automobile design, engineering, assembly, global sales, etc., so that even techno-weenies can enjoy it.

Ford's turnaround is a remarkable accomplishment in the annals of business history, and Mr. Hoffman's illuminating dissection of the whole story illustrates how the right kinds of people with the right kinds of skills and management philosophies can succeed against seemingly impossible odds. "American Icon" deserves to be read by a wide audience of executives, managers, business owners and employees at all levels and in all industries as an outstanding example of the power of inspirational, participative leadership. I highly recommend this "business book that reads like a novel" to any and all readers. It's a great story, superbly told.
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People first Everyone is included Compelling vision Clear performance goals One plan Facts and data Propose a plan, find-a-way attitude Respect, listen, help, and appreciate each other Emotional resilience  trust the process Have fun  enjoy the journey and each other &quote;
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Business men go down with their businesses because they like the old way so well they cannot bring themselves to change. One sees them all aboutmen who do not know that yesterday is past, and who woke up this morning with their last years ideas. HENRY FORD &quote;
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The young boss realized that his job was not to show his subordinates how much smarter he was than they were, but to bring them up to his level. &quote;
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