Henry Ford vs. Jesus Christ


10 year(s) ago

I came across this paper that I wrote in February 2007... "And it has become pretty general. Last Christmas most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated Someone's Birth. Easter they will have the same difficulty in finding Easter cards that contain any suggestion that Easter commemorates a certain event. There will be rabbits and eggs and spring flowers, but a hint of the Resurrection will be hard to find. Now, all this begins with the designers of the cards." – Henry Ford In November 1999, Fortune magazine named Henry Ford (Ford), founder of the Ford Motor Company (Ford Co.) as the 'Businessman of the 20th Century.' Ford was accorded this honor for transforming the lives of billions of people and revolutionizing the automobile world by creating a car which was affordable to the common working middle class. Ford was chosen ahead of three other finalists - Alfred Sloan Jr. (General Motors), Thomas Watson (IBM), and Bill Gates (Microsoft) - as the 20th century business leader. Ford had formulated a philosophy of three Ps - People, Products and Profit - for his company. Explaining the relationship between the three Ps, he said in 1916, "I don't believe we should make such an awful profit on our cars. A reasonable profit is right, but not too much. I hold that it is better to sell a large number of cars at a reasonably small profit......I hold this because it enables a larger number of people to buy and enjoy the use of a car and because it gives a larger number of men employment at good wages. Those are the two aims I have in life." Henry Ford believed that all the employees working at Ford should have the ability to buy the product that they were manufacturing. Last year Ford Motor Company hired a new CEO. For the first time since it’s inception, Ford’s CEO was not a descendant of Henry Ford. Ford Motor Co.'s new chief executive will get an annual base salary of $2 million and an immediate payout of $18.5 million for taking the job. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,213149,00.html) Ford's new CEO Alan Mulally drives a Lexus LS 430, and he says he made the purchase because "it's the finest car in the world." (Detroit Free Press) January 25th, 2007 Dearborn, Mich. - Ford Motor Co. lost a staggering $12.7 billion in 2006, an average of $1,925 for every car and truck it sold and the worst loss in the company's 103-year-history. (Associated Press) In a recent conference call Ford CEO Alan Mulally said, "We know where we are, we're dealing with it and we're on plan," Mulally faced numerous questions from reporters during the call about plans by Ford to again start paying bonuses to white-collar employees despite the losses. "We use the word bonus, but it is a key piece of their compensation, and that's how we pay them for the performance they're achieving," he said. "We need the absolute best-skilled and motivated team in all of the positions" Ford is loosing money, and loosing it fast. There is already talk about whether or not the government will bail them out, or if it will allow Ford to disappear forever. There are offers on the table from foreign car manufacturers that have to look tempting to the current CEO. What is the focus of Ford Motor Company and what has happened to the vision of their founder? Identify: What are the issues? • Ford is loosing money, and a lot of it • Ford is coming under fire because of the high dollar executives which are consuming hundreds of millions of dollars annually, in their salaries. • Ford is loosing consumer confidence. • Ford is loosing market share in all areas. • Ford has brought in new leadership in hopes of a change. • People do not feel that the new CEO is concerned with Ford, and only cares about his pocketbook. Analyze: • Henry Ford’s vision has not been carried through the generations of leadership. • Henry Ford was concerned with the American people, and his employees. • Consumer confidence is down because Ford’s leadership is completely disconnected from the average person. • Ford’s executives think that their multi-million dollar salaries are necessary, and justified because that is what other top level executives make, in other large companies. • This has not happened overnight, and it will not go away overnight. • The responsibility of what is happening may or may not lie with current leadership, however, it is defiantly their responsibility to fix it. • In order to be competitive, Ford must not stop spending money. • Ford has placed profits in front of it’s product, and the people. Recommend: • Ford can do nothing at all, and hope that consumers just ignore the problem, and forget about it. • Ford can try to educate consumers and hope that they realize that if they do not pay such high salaries, then they will not have any leadership at all that can pull them out of this slump. • Ford can reduce the price of their automobiles to the point that they loose more money. • Ford can hire a new CEO and try again. • Ford can say, “We had a great 103 years! Thank you America! We are closing our doors.” • Ford can sell to a foreign car manufacturer. • Ford can move their operations to Mexico, and save on labor. • The board at Ford can demand that the current CEO dive a Ford car, and that they gradually get back to the basics and back to the vision that Henry Ford had, and then and only then will consumer confidence change, and Ford be able to survive. I recommend that in order to turn things around, Ford needs to relate to the people who buy their vehicles. They need to build consumer confidence by their integrity, and their performance to deliver a well built, reliable, car to the average citizen. Ford needs to somehow connect with Americans in a way that makes them proud to drive an American made car by a company that has a vision to help common every day people. Ford needs to convey to Americans that which Henry Ford had a great vision for, People / Product / Profit, and keep them in that order. If the people of America feel that Ford’s leadership is truly concerned with them first, and their profits last, then the people of America will be fine with any profit that Ford makes. This case study is based on Ford Motor Company, but can be applied to the Church today. I started with a case study on an individual experience within a congregation, and the leadership of the church. I then started to see such a coloration between the modern world, and the Church today. The Church had a great leader and a great founder, Jesus Christ. He had a vision, and a goal. His vision was for “others.” His vision was for the people. The Church today needs leadership to focus on the people, and then their buildings, and then their money. Too many times the structures and money get more attention than the lost, and the unsaved. We need to get back to the vision that Christ had.

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