1. The Leadership Challenge

“Diversity in counsel, unity in command.”

—Cyrus the Great

On September 5, 2006, Ford Motor Company shocked the automobile industry by announcing the hiring of Alan Mulally as the company’s CEO. Bill Ford, 49-year-old great-grandson of the firm’s legendary founder, remained as Ford’s executive chairman. Many people expressed surprise that Bill Ford would relinquish the title of chief executive. Perhaps even more astonishing to many observers, Ford had reached outside the industry to hire its new chief executive. Mulally came from Boeing, where he had spent his entire 37-year career. The three large American automakers generally had not hired CEOs from outside the industry. Ford had challenged the conventional wisdom ...

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