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Bill George

Harvard Business School Professor, former Medtronic CEO

This Week’s Kudos Go To Mulally and Gaffes to Strauss-Kahn

Leadership Kudos for the week go to Ford CEO Alan Mulally. Joining deeply-troubled Ford in 2006, Mulally has pulled off the greatest corporate transformation in recent decades — and in the process restored faith in the American automobile industry and the U.S.’s ability to compete globally in heavy manufacturing. An exceptionally humble leader, Mulally’s authentic, high-performance style has brought humanity and discipline back to Ford. The proof is in Ford’s results: in the most recent quarter Ford sales were up 18 percent, profits up 22 percent, and its share of the U.S. market gained the #1 spot.

 

Leadership Gaffe for the week goes to IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, arrested for sexually assaulting a chamber maid in New York. A momentary lapse? Unlikely. Strauss-Kahn has a long history of extra-marital relations. The larger question is why he was trusted with such an important international post. Leaders need to set a higher standard, not seek the lowest common denominator.