Leaders and Strategies in Real Life Lee Iacocca Edition

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Instead of studying leadership, why not spend some time studying leaders and strategies in the wild? You can learn a lot from leadership experts, but you always see the leader and what he or she does through the expert’s personal lens. Supplement that learning with studying real leaders in real life situations and draw your own conclusions. The posts in this series will help you.

Every week I’ll point you to articles by and about real leaders in real situations and to articles about how real companies are faring in the marketplace. Read them. Think about them. Draw your own lessons and conclusions from them. Then try to apply those lessons in your own real life.

This week I’m pointing you to articles about Lee Iacocca.

From the Washington Post: Auto industry icon Lee Iacocca dies at 94. He helped launch the Ford Mustang and saved Chrysler from bankruptcy.

“Lee Iacocca, the automobile industry executive who helped launch the Mustang at Ford and save Chrysler from bankruptcy, and whose cunning, ingenuity and swagger made him one of the most successful salesmen of his generation, died July 2 at his home in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles. He was 94.”

From Yale Insights: Three Questions: Prof. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld on Lee Iacocca’s Legacy

“Auto industry titan Lee Iacocca is dead at 94 after a career notable for such innovations as the minivan, Mustang, and Pinto, as well as an outsize persona. We asked Prof. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld to explain Iacocca’s success through both breakthroughs and setbacks in his career.”

From Dale Buss: Chrysler Rescuer Lee Iacocca Was America’s 1st Celebrity CEO

“Lee Iacocca lived to see a day that many in the auto industry doubted would ever transpire: When the Chrysler company he once led finally exceeded Ford Motor in profitability. That’s the case right now, with the domestic car industry’s long-time No. 3 doing a better job of realizing profits from its sales of big vehicles than the long-time No. 2. It’s no understatement to say this day never would have come without Iacocca.”

From Frank Ahrens: Iacocca Is Rightly Remembered For The Mustang But The Minivan Is His Biggest Legacy

“In the days since his death at 94, former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca has been rightly lauded as the father of the Mustang, from his days at Ford, and the brand-saving K-car, from his time at Chrysler. But when I think of Iacocca, one word comes to mind: minivan.”

From Kyle Stock: Lee Iacocca’s Middle-Management Magic

“The Mustang lore varies, but it was Iacocca’s baby according to many accounts, principally his own. Much of the man’s eponymous autobiography details the pony car’s origin story and it still reads as a masterclass in middle management.”

From the Economist: Obituary: Lee Iacocca

“THE WORLD’S carmakers can be roughly divided by specialisation. Europe’s are regarded as the best at sophisticated engineering. Japan’s are the masters of mass-production techniques. What American car firms do best is marketing their products. That reputation was acquired largely thanks to the efforts of an American business legend, Lee Iacocca, who died on July 2nd at the age of 94.”

For some ideas about how to get more from this series of posts, check out “Studying Leaders in the Wild.

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