Thursday, April 24, 2014

Alan Mulally on Running a Crisp Leadership Team Meeting

Here's a great response from outgoing Ford CEO Alan Mulally during an interview with the Wall Street Journal.    When Mulally arrived at Ford, he established some basic ground rules for conduct during senior team meetings (he called them "working together behaviors").  Mulally wanted to insure that the team members worked together effectively, and that they used their time efficiently during meetings.  Here, Mulally talks about holding people accountable with regard to these rules of engagement:

WSJ: When was the last time you had to remind someone: "No, you didn't get it."
Mr. Mulally: Every once in a while someone in business-plan review will, say, pull out their communication device and start working on it. We have the entire leadership team networked around the world, and somebody would have the audacity to start working a specific issue instead of being laser focused on helping everybody?  Or they'll talk. At Ford, one of the behaviors is you listen, and you don't have side conversations during the meeting. It's just so important everybody stays focused. So if someone has a side conversation, we just stop and we just look at them, and it's amazing how it doesn't happen again.

For more on those ground rules, please check out this prior blog post

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