During his day Lee Iacocca was considered one of the most masterful business leaders of all time, known for his blunt, but straight talk. When exploring what made this man, one could only say that adversity had built the character needed to accomplish all he did. Do you have the qualities that Lee Iacocca used to turn around Chrysler Motor Company?
If not, that does not mean you cannot study this great man and his methods to take control of your company, your future or your destiny. I recommend that you study the philosophies and strategies of Lee Iacocca and I would like to recommend two books, two books that I myself have in my own personal business library:
“Iacocca – an autobiography” by Lee Iacocca with William Novak – 1984
“Talking Straight” by Lee Iacocca with Sonny Kleinfield – 1988.
The first book describes Lee Iacocca’s early beginnings and what shaped his personality, it takes you through his tenure at Ford Motor Company and into his position at Chrysler. It talks about how he sold the “bail out” and how he built his team, the K-Car solution. He talks about auto safety, competing with the Japanese, Labor Costs and Unions and what this great nation needs to become even greater.
The second book “Talking Straight” was written four years later and it is a continuation of his comments on America, the stock market, trade deficits, a nation in debt, raising kids in America and how what we do now will shape the world we live in – in the 21st Century.
He talks about family values, hard work ethic, national unity, strength of character and where we are doing well and where we need to concentrate. He discusses where American Business needs to focus, where it is falling down. He talks about several industries and even family farmers. He states that we need to make “Made in America” mean something once again. In many regards Lee Iacocca is correct, I hope you will listen to his words and think on it.
In the meanwhile if you are interested in the Auto Maker Industry, I would like to suggest another book to you, about how factories operate in the US and elsewhere and how to make them more efficient and profitable:
“Reinventing the Factory – Productivity Breakthroughs in Manufacturing Today” by Roy L. Harmon and Leroy D. Peterson – Arthur Anderson Consulting – 1990.
This book has chapters such as: Management Perspectives and Profits, plant wide plans, Assembly process, machining process, material storage, one-touch change overs, and paperless factories. The book also touches on important considerations in productivity and how to create plants, sub-plants and manufacturing clusters, with vendors, spin-offs and in-house systems. Finally, the book explains the methods and strategies needed in designing the Factories of the Future.