Lee Iacocca On Leadership

29 01 2012

“Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then, by God, do something. Don’t just stand there. Make it happen.”

Lee Iacocca.  Father of the Ford Mustang.  Brought Chrysler out of bankruptcy in the late 1970’s.  Helped bring the quality of US car making to another level entirely.

His grandmother gave this bit of sound advice [above quote] about leadership and initiative.  One really can’t improve on it.

“Apply Yourself”

Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.  If you’re going to make a difference in your career, your social circles and organizations, you’ve got to have initiative.  Be a self-starter.  Remake yourself into an individual who doesn’t require external motivation and motivators—read bosses—to get into gear.  Take the ball and run with it.  Don’t wait for permission.  People will be amazed.

“Get All The Education You Can”

I’m at the mid-point of my life journey.  To get ahead to places I want to be and to do the things I want to do require me to learn more.  Go back to school.  Lots of people are going back to college or getting specialty training in all sorts of fields: IT, medicine, law, banking, social sciences.  College is not just for the young and you’ll be surprised how many older people are returning there, refusing to rust away.  My mom earned her Ph.D in her sixties.  You can do it and so can I.  Check out the possibilities.

“Do Something”

Simple physics tells us that a body at rest tends to stay at rest, unless acted on by an external force and a body in motion tends to stay in motion the same way.  The law of inertia.  Get busy, get schooled and get going.  Activity and effort bring a return.  Do this and enjoy the rewards of your labor.

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4 responses

29 01 2012

Great post Chris! As Usual! For those in New York who may be reading this, I can recommend Empire State College very highly. I just finished my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the tender age of 50. I am a learner, but taking classes and specifically pursuing a degree forces that natural desire to learn, and focuses it into laser beam intensity. The result: A diploma that tells you and the world that you did your homework and can stick to a goal until it is finished. Let ‘er rip!

29 01 2012
Christian Fahey

That’s fantastic Tom. You’re a great example of what we discussed in the post. Mid-life learning is outstanding. Never too old. Thanks for reading!

29 01 2012
Eric Alagan

I read that book about how he turned around Chrysler and took a $1.00 salary in return for government bailout money…where have such leaders gone!

29 01 2012
Christian Fahey

It was a bold step he took Eric. It set an example to the rank and file at Chrysler that has rarely been equaled. Indeed such leadership is rare. Thanks for reading!

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