Mulally of Ford; Tebow of The Jets

By Thomas J. Stanley on Apr 3rd, 2012 in Mentor's Corner


According to a Wall Street Journal article, the chief executive of Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally, had the highest compensation package among all executives in the automotive industry.  This is not surprising given the achievements he has made at Ford. 

In an recent cable news program about Mr. Mulally, it was mentioned that early in his tenure he had a meeting with his senior executives to discuss the need to improve Ford’s product quality.  One of the attendees said something to Mr. Mulally along the lines of  “[you don’t understand] a Ford motor vehicle has 3,000 parts.”  In other words, he was implying that there will always be some quality problems when you have that many parts.  Mr. Mulally responded by saying that he did indeed understand because in his previous job as CEO of Boeing he had to deal with a product which had 30,000 parts!  And the Boeing product was consistently recognized for its extraordinary quality and endurance.

Speaking of airplanes, let’s talk about the latest Jet, Tim Tebow.  Much was made about his recent news conference on behalf of the New York Jets. Tebow stood alone in front of more than 200 journalists who asked a relentless set of questions for 32 minutes.  According to one reporter from The New York Times (see article):


It became apparent . . . that we were not going to lay a pecking index finger on him much less sack him . . . .  He didn’t dodge them [us] he met them head on and walked away without a wrinkle on his new green tie.

And why wouldn’t he?  Compared to the football experiences Tebow had as quarterback for the Florida Gators, like playing in front of 100,000 rabid fans at Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium, standing in front of the press in the Jets fieldhouse was minor league. It is likely that Tebow’s confident and cool demeanor will continue throughout his pro career. 

2 responses to “Mulally of Ford; Tebow of The Jets”

  1. ArLena says:

    I enjoyed reading this post because it provides real examples of how to keep your cool when the heat is directly and indirectly aimed at you. The second reason that I enjoyed reading this article is, it provides an example of how enduring the low expectation of athlete social performance continues to be and simultaneously demonstrates how those expectations should be raised.
    Kudos Dr. Stanley. This post is coolicious.

  2. Steve says:

    THANK YOU for posting this! I think your blog (and your books) should be required reading! I’ve told several people about “The Millionaire Next Door”!!

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