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American Icon: Alan Mulally - great read


Rev Dennis

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I read a good story about when Alan took over Ford. He was meeting with all the project engineers and there was some dissent amongst the engineers as Alan did not have an automotive background. Alan apparently sensed, about 3/4 of the way through the meeting that there was a problem but not being discussed. He asked for someone to be honest and just tell him what the problem was. Finally an engineer spoke up and stated that he spoke for many in thinking that Alan did not have the background to be the CEO of an auto industry. Alan asked him to explain and the engineer stated that they felt he did not understand that an automobile is very complex and composed of over 4,000 individual pieces and that if they do not work in harmony the car stalls and you have to pull to the side of the road. Alan listened and said that it was true he did not have an auto industry background but rather he came from Boeing. He then went on to say that a Boeing 747 has something like 30,000 individual pieces and if they do not work together the plane falls out of the sky and everyone is killed. The room went quiet, and then those in the meeting had a new found respect for Alan.

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