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  • Leadership From A Master Pt. 2

    In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words; people, product, and profits. People come first. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two. Set your priorities accordingly.

    This is the second part of Iacoccoa: An Autobiography, by Lee Iacocca and William Novak that I am offering to Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals members, which illustrated business observations from not only a master businessman, but someone, who was at the precipice and pulled himself and his company back to the top of corporate America. Iacoccoa states:

    1.      But if you believe in what you’re doing, you’ve got to persevere even when you run into obstacles.

    2.      Never go before your customers without rehearsing what you want to say-as well as what you’re going to do-to help sell your product.

    3.      When you talked to him (Robert McNamara), you realized that he had already played out in his head the relevant details for every conceivable option and scenario. He taught me never to make a major decision without having a choice of vanilla or chocolate. And if more than a hundred million dollars were at stake, it was a good idea to have strawberry, too.

    4.      If I had to sum up in one word the qualities that make a good manager, I’d say that it all comes down to decisiveness. You can use the fanciest computers in the world and you can gather all the charts and numbers, but in the end you have to bring all your information together, set up a timetable, and act.

    5.      What makes these managers strong is that they know how to delegate and how to motivate. They know how to look for the pressure points and how to set priorities. They’re the kind of guys who say, “Forget that, it’ll take ten years. Here’s what we gotta do now.”

    6.      To promote the Cougar, for example, Zimmie wanted to have a trained bear drive the car from New York to California. According to one scenario, a trainer would sit in front beside him. Another plan called for a midget to crouch under the dash and do the driving using special equipment. The way Zimmie described it, the car would make dozens of stops each day as the public crowded around and the press took pictures. I love bold ideas, but this one was a little wild even for me.

    7.      In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words; people, product, and profits. People come first. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.

    8.      When it came to a quality image, Chrysler had a really serious problem. With something so important, you can’t just wave a wand and presto! Even if your products get better right away, it takes time for the public to realize it. It’s like the bad girl in town who changes her ways and goes straight. For the first couple of years, nobody believes her.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

    Filed Under: Management

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