In This Issue
The Road Warrior
Tick, Tick, Tick
The Leadership Lessons of Lee Iacocca
Not born that way
If you’ve ever had doubts about whether you’re a natural leader, take heart from the example of automotive industry titan Lee Iacocca, who died in July at the age of 94. “Leaders are made, not born,” the celebrity CEO wrote. “Leadership is forged in times of crisis.” Iacocca proved his mettle under pressure by rebounding from his spectacular firing as Ford Motor Company president to save the floundering Chrysler Corporation from going out of business.
C’s the keys
Iacocca may have excelled as a marketing whiz, but like many AEC industry leaders he started his career as an engineer. After becoming the head of two of the Big Three automakers, he compiled a list of the “9 C’s of Leadership,” which included curiosity, creativity, character, courage, conviction, charisma, competence, and common sense. One “C,” however, stood out above all for Iacocca—communication.
A moving speech
“Communication has been my most valuable management tool,” Iacocca wrote. “Some business leaders succeed because they are technical or financial geniuses. I realized early that I was pretty good at using the spoken word to move an organization in the direction I wanted, and I used that tool every day.”
Find your motivation
“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your brains won’t get you anywhere,” wrote Iacocca, who honed his speaking skills on his high school debate team and through a Dale Carnegie course that Ford sent him to when he landed his first important job at the company. Iacocca, who gave more than 650 speeches during his 14-year tenure as Chrysler CEO, complained that too many presentations merely inform. “In every speech I give, the objective is to motivate. You can deliver information in a letter or tack it to a bulletin board,” he wrote. Iacocca’s keys to delivering an effective presentation included rehearsing for hours, telling a good story, and avoiding jargon and corporate-speak to keep the message simple.
the Road Warrior
Need a Recruiting Edge? Look to Your Travel Policy
Let them be choosy
Spare no expense
A guide to help you better understand how AE firms are valued and – perhaps more importantly – what you can do to build value now.Read Newsletter