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    #151 Alan Mulally: The Power Of Working Together

    Implementing structured and collaborative management practices, such as weekly family meetings, can improve efficiency, organization, communication, and teamwork in both organizations and personal life.

    enNovember 01, 2022

    About this Episode

    Widely regarded as one of the top business leaders of his generation, Alan Mulally joins the show to discuss the formation of his leadership strategy and how you can apply his lessons to your life and business. On this episode Mulally breaks down the principles of how a team can work together toward a larger goal, creating a culture of love by design, the role of the leader, what happens when people opt out of working together, how to use the ideas of working together in your family life, and so much more.
     
    Mulally is perhaps best known as the former President and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, which was struggling during the late-2000s recession before Mulally used his teamwork-oriented philosophy to save the company. Under Mulally’s leadership from 2006-14, Ford was the only major car manufacturer to avoid a government bailout, and Mulally was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time. Prior to joining Ford, Mulally spent more than three decades at Boeing, where he eventually served as an Executive Vice President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

    --

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    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • By aligning all aspects of our lives and integrating our values into our work and personal lives, we can make a positive impact on others and find fulfillment in serving and continuously improving.
    • Reflect on your priorities, evaluate your actions, and make decisions from various perspectives to live a fulfilling and integrated life.
    • Prioritizing people, inclusive decision-making, clear goals, and transparent communication are essential for building a successful organization and achieving long-term success.
    • Alan Mulally's emphasis on trust, teamwork, and effective communication allowed Ford to overcome resistance, implement restructuring measures, and create a unified vision for the future.
    • Taking the risk to identify problems without solutions can lead to positive change and create a culture of open communication and collaboration.
    • Consistent adherence to a reliable working together system fosters effective problem-solving, confidence-building, reduced stress levels, and increased progress, while addressing and reflecting on behaviors that deviate from expectations is vital for creating a safe and respectful environment.
    • Making a conscious decision to align with the team's vision and values can create a supportive work environment and lead to success in any endeavor.
    • Building a culture of respect, interest, and value fosters a working together culture of love by design, leading to a successful organization that focuses on continuous improvement and unleashes individuals and teams' full potential.
    • Setting clear expectations, respecting dignity, and integrating various elements in the working together management system can lead to individual and team success in the workplace.
    • Effective leadership involves aligning beliefs, values, and behaviors, holding teams accountable, and leading by example. Authenticity and inclusivity are crucial for effective communication and positive change.
    • Implementing structured and collaborative management practices, such as weekly family meetings, can improve efficiency, organization, communication, and teamwork in both organizations and personal life.
    • Creating a vision, reflecting on progress, and fostering open communication in a respectful manner can strengthen family bonds and lead to personal growth and fulfillment.
    • Leadership today involves more than just managing; it requires facilitating and coaching to create a collaborative and knowledge-sharing culture. Success in leadership is about making a positive impact on a larger scale.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    The Power of Integration

    Building an integrated life is essential to delivering one's life's work. Alan Mulally emphasizes the importance of aligning all aspects of our lives, including work, family, spirituality, and community involvement. He shares that his own formation and leadership journey were influenced by the values and lessons instilled by his parents, such as the significance of love, service, understanding, and respect for others. By integrating these values into his professional career at Boeing and Ford, Mulally was able to create a positive impact on the various stakeholders involved. He also highlights the joy and satisfaction he experienced from serving others and seeking continuous improvement. Therefore, embracing an integrated life enables individuals to bring their best selves to all aspects of their lives and make a positive contribution to society.

    Living an integrated life: Prioritizing and aligning your actions with your values.

    Living an integrated life requires prioritizing what is truly important to you in different areas of your life, such as work, relationships, and health. It is important to regularly reflect on these priorities and evaluate whether you are paying attention to them in your daily and long-term activities. Sacrificing other components of your life in pursuit of a narrow focus can lead to a breakdown. The process of living an integrated life requires discipline and following through on your priorities. Additionally, it is crucial to thoroughly consider and analyze decisions from various perspectives before committing to them. Ultimately, the key is to align your actions with your values and ensure that you feel good about your choices.

    Creating a Culture of Love by Design: Alan Mulally's Insights on Organizational Success

    Alan Mulally emphasizes the importance of creating a culture of love by design in organizations. This entails demonstrating love for the work being done and for the individuals involved. One of the principles is to prioritize people and appreciate their contributions, whether they are employees, suppliers, or stakeholders. Another principle is to include everyone in the decision-making process and value their perspectives. Mulally also stresses the need for a compelling vision, a comprehensive strategy, and a relentless implementation plan that serves both stakeholders and the greater good. Clear performance goals, one plan, and a focus on facts and data are crucial for success. Finally, it is important to expect the unexpected and openly address issues with transparency to ensure everyone is informed and engaged in finding solutions.

    Building Trust and Collaboration at Ford

    Alan Mulally implemented a new process at Ford, emphasizing trust, teamwork, and expected behaviors. He faced resistance as an outsider, but he gained buy-in by introducing a piece of paper outlining his principles and practices. He spent considerable time explaining these principles to the team and addressing their questions. Ford then embarked on restructuring, matching production to demand, developing a new product line, and securing financing. They also committed to working together as one global team, eliminating the competition between different Ford branches. Ultimately, Mulally's approach focused on fostering trust, collaboration, and shared goals, allowing Ford to create a united vision and move forward with confidence.

    Embracing transparency and trust for improved performance.

    Embracing transparency, working together, and trusting the process can lead to significant improvements in a company's performance. Initially, the team was hesitant to highlight any red flags or issues without a solution because of the fear of negative consequences. However, when the leader of North America took the bold step of identifying a problem, despite not having a solution, it opened the door for positive change. The team rallied together, providing support and resources to address the issue promptly. As a result, not only did they successfully resolve the problem, but they also created a culture of open communication and collaboration. This newfound trust in the process allowed them to tackle challenges effectively and turn potential setbacks into opportunities for growth.

    The Importance of Commitment, Discipline, and Collaboration in Organizational Success

    The success of any organization relies on consistent commitment and discipline to both the process and the behaviors. Alan Mulally emphasizes the importance of a reliable working together system and the need for all stakeholders to follow it religiously. By adhering to a consistent process, teams can solve issues effectively and build confidence among participants. This leads to reduced stress levels and increased progress. However, Mulally acknowledges that there may be individuals who either don't commit to the system or exhibit behaviors that go against expectations. In such cases, it is crucial to address the issue and encourage reflection on one's behavior. Ultimately, creating a safe and respectful environment is essential for achieving organizational success.

    Committing to positive behavior and working together for personal and professional growth.

    Committing to positive behavior and working together can lead to profound personal and professional growth. Alan Mulally emphasizes the importance of making a conscious decision to move in a positive direction and align with the vision and values of the team. By choosing this behavior, individuals can create a supportive and productive work environment. It may take time for individuals to adjust and become comfortable with the new approach, but with consistent support and feedback, their behaviors will begin to change. Those who decide to leave may later realize the value of working together and rejoin the team. Ultimately, success in any endeavor is largely determined by one's character and commitment to collaboration and personal growth.

    Cultivating Humility and Presence for Effective Leadership and Teamwork.

    Building a culture of humility and presence is crucial for effective leadership and teamwork. When meeting someone, it is important to ask three key questions: who are you as a person, where are we going as a team, and do you see me and value my contribution. Being fully present in conversations and showing respect and interest in others fosters a working together culture of love by design. Creating an environment where people feel listened to, respected, and valued is essential for a successful organization. This culture requires consistent behavior and adherence to principles, with zero tolerance for distractions like devices during meetings. Continuous improvement and learning, along with stakeholder-centered coaching, contribute to individuals and teams reaching their full potential. HR's role is shifting towards hiring and attracting talent and unleashing their potential, rather than focusing on grievances.

    Creating a Safe and Clear Feedback System for Productive Workplaces

    Creating a safe and clear feedback system is crucial for a productive workplace environment. When individuals feel safe, they are more willing to give and receive feedback, leading to meaningful accomplishments and satisfaction. The conversation highlights the importance of setting clear expectations for behaviors and providing feedback that respects people's dignity. The working together management system described in the conversation emphasizes the integration of different elements: principles and practices, governance process, leadership team, creating value roadmap, business plan review, and culture. These elements work together to create an environment where stakeholders are included, coaching and facilitation are prioritized, and leadership is characterized by humility, love, service, courage, discipline, resilience, civility, authenticity, and positive mindsets. Continuous improvement and lifelong learning are also essential components of the system. Creating a safe and clear feedback system and integrating these elements can lead to individual and team success.

    The Importance of Aligning Beliefs, Values, and Behaviors in Leadership

    Leadership is about aligning beliefs, values, and behaviors through the process of self-reinforcement and accountability. Alan Mulally emphasizes the importance of holding the team responsible for following the established process, which includes the elements of product, process, people, and working together. Leaders should lead by example and be responsible for aligning with the rest of the team, facilitating and coaching them. Every discipline needs to be represented on the leadership team to ensure inclusivity and effective communication. By consistently exhibiting the expected behaviors, individuals can gradually shift their beliefs and values in a positive direction. Authenticity plays a crucial role as it aligns who they are and what they do. Once leaders experience the benefits of this approach, they are unlikely to go back to previous ineffective methods.

    Applying Management Principles to Family Life

    Implementing a structured and collaborative management system can be beneficial not only in organizations but also in personal life, such as managing a family. Alan Mulally, who is experienced in management, adapted the concept of weekly business plan reviews to his family by introducing a family meeting every week. This meeting includes tasks like picking up the house and doing laundry together, promoting accountability and teamwork. The family members also discuss their plans for the week and offer help to each other. This approach not only improves efficiency and organization but also fosters open communication and positive feedback within the family. It serves as a reminder that implementing management practices can contribute to the functioning and growth of any group or system.

    Fostering Strong Family Bonds Through Principles and Values

    Having family principles and values can have a lasting impact on relationships and personal growth. Alan Mulally emphasized the importance of creating a compelling vision for the family's purpose and having a strategy to achieve it. He also highlighted the significance of reflecting on progress and making necessary adjustments through family meetings. Teaching children to give feedback in a respectful manner and express their emotions effectively can foster open communication and mutual understanding. By fostering an environment of respect and accountability, families can learn from each other's mistakes and support each other's growth. Implementing these principles can strengthen family bonds and empower individuals to fulfill their commitments, ultimately leading to a more integrated and fulfilling life.

    Evolving Leadership: From Directing to Facilitating and Coaching

    Leadership today involves more than just directing and managing. It requires the ability to facilitate, coach, and create a culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Alan Mulally emphasizes the importance of being a good facilitator and coach as a leader, acknowledging that your team members often know more than you do about their respective areas. He highlights the need for creating a safe and healthy environment where all knowledge workers can contribute their hearts and minds to create value for the greater good. Success, according to Mulally, is an integrated life of service, where decisions are made with a larger purpose in mind. This conversation reminds us that leadership goes beyond personal achievements and encompasses making a positive impact on a larger scale.

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    (01:18:30) How will AI help us?

    (01:22:10) On success

    Dr. Becky Kennedy: The One Thing You Can Say That Changes Everything

    Dr. Becky Kennedy: The One Thing You Can Say That Changes Everything

    Dr. Becky Kennedy shares the skills you need but didn't get taught on regulating emotions, setting boundaries, and the best sentence you can say when a partner tells you something difficult.

    While there is an obvious focus on parenting, the most surprising thing about this episode was how much of what we discussed applies to EVERY relationship in your life.

    Learn how to parent more effectively with less stress, repair after a disagreement, regulate emotions, and unlock the next level in all of your relationships. Listen and Learn

    Dubbed the “The Millennial Parenting Whisperer” by TIME Magazine, Dr. Kennedy is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. She also hosts “Good Inside with Dr Becky,” the top kids and family show on Apple Podcasts.

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    Tom Gayner: Invest Like The Best

    Tom Gayner: Invest Like The Best

    Tom Gayner, CEO of Markel Group, reveals the lessons he’s learned from Charlie Munger and Berkshire Hathaway, how he invests, and the specific way he thinks about opportunity cost.

    Gayner shares the difference between good debt and bad debt, where he disagrees with Munger, and why he focuses on the basics.

    This intimate conversation offers a level of insight and honesty that Tom hasn’t offered anywhere else.

    Gayner is currently the CEO of Markel Group and the Director of The Coca‑Cola Company. He also serves as chairman of the Davis Series Mutual Funds board and on the boards of Graham Holdings and Markel.

    Listen and Learn.

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    Blake Eastman: Learn to Read Anyone

    Blake Eastman: Learn to Read Anyone
    Blake Eastman has dedicated his entire life to psychology and nonverbal behavior.
     
    In 2009 he founded The Nonverbal Group, a  behavioral research and education company in New York City which conducts large scale studies on human behavior and uses a wide range of technologies to systematically deconstruct and improve human communication.
     
    Eastman dives deep into a number of subjects revolving around how we communicate with one another, including the ability to read nonverbal cues, his thoughts on big talkers vs. silent types, how we can communicate with our partners without complaining, the value of watching ourselves communicate on video, understanding the power structures and social dynamics at work, and so much more.
     
    Eastman has also served as an adjunct psychology professor at the City University of New York for six years where he taught General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Group Dynamics. He is also a former professional poker player and the founder of School of Cards, the first brick-and-mortar poker school in New York City.
     
    Listen and Learn

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