If Business Executives had a Hall of Fame, Lee Iacocca would probably have a floor dedicated to him. Iacocca's life was wilder then a roller coast, his failures made headlines across the nation and his successes were ‘larger then life'. He came from an Italian immigrant family, and in the first few chapters speaks of his experiences in school, college and pre-Ford life. Initially an engineer, he switched to the sales force and is largely credited for the phenomenal Ford Mustang car and for his nationwide programs along with being credited with the revival of the Mercury Brand and making Ford Fiesta (older model) and was also the ‘moving force' behind Ford Pinto, Mercury Cougar and many other cars.
He rose through the ranks of Ford to become Ford Motor's youngest president and stay on for 8 years, only to fired by an arrogant boss Henry even when the company made record profits of $2 billion. He tasted sweet revenge in an almost capitalistic way by taking Chrysler out of bankruptcy and beating Henry Ford in the marketplace.
Lee Iacocca exemplifies the battered business executive who led a battle for a dying cause to bolster Chrysler, which made his name a symbol of integrity, grit, hard work, and guts for millions of people.
The one quote of his I really loved was
There are times in everyone's life when something constructive is born out of adversity. There are times when things seem so bad that you've got to grab your fate by the shoulders and shake it.
In one such adversity, he convinced the United States Congress to extend a $1.5 billion loan guarantee to the company (Chrysler). This propelled him to he set up his old management team at Chrysler, sell off their tractors division, and spend aggressively on advertising. In order to make the company profitable he was forced to take very tough decisions like introducing spending cuts, laying-off workers, closing plant divisions and personally taking home a $1 salary to give inspiration to employees to accept pay cuts.
If someone wants to learn and grow, read about leaders, and how to overcome adversities, then this book is a must read for them!
If you like this article, you'll love the book review/note I wrote on Sam Walton too - why not check it out...
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