On Leadership, Visionaries and Entrepreneurship: Henry Ford

Henry FordHenry Ford is considered one of America’s foremost industrialist who shaped and influenced the entire globe. His leadership forged so many aspects of everyday life, that it is hard to image a world without his impact.

Innovators and entrepreneurs like Henry Ford rarely come along in anyone’s lifetime!

On Vision, Grit, and Execution

The unique vision he had, combined with the ability and knowledge to make his dreams happen are what set him apart from other inventors.

Henry Ford had a vision of vehicles that could be made not only for the wealthiest people, but for everyone.

He envisioned new processes to create vehicles that would speed up the auto making process and make vehicles affordable for many. Ford had a dream that the automobile, once it was mass-produced and owned by many people, would become a useful tool to advance society.

He helped implement techniques like assembly lines that made automobile manufacturing a faster and more economical undertaking. This allowed automobile pricing to go down to the point where many people could afford to buy and drive cars.

A Comprehensive Outlook

One of Henry Ford’s other visions was of gas stations, which would make it convenient for new automobile owners to get the fuel they needed quickly and cheaply.

He was also instrumental in seeing that roads were well made and that enough roads would be created to give people good, viable pathways to use their automobiles.

A Global Visionary Leader

He also had visions of selling automobiles that were made by Ford to other countries, helping other economies to advance as well.The Ford Motor Company, founded in 1903, soon became an international company.

In Henry Ford‘s most productive and visionary years, the company expanded to over 30 countries around the globe.

They included Europe, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia and China. Ford was not only competitive with many other auto makers, they often exceeded competitors in sales and innovation.

A Competitive Leader

As new innovations came along in assembly lines and the creation of auto parts within the factory became a common event, the prices of automobiles came down to the point where many people could afford them. Workers were not paid well in the beginning, but that soon changed when Ford saw a need to pay them more to keep workers and avoid high turnover.

The workers’ salaries were increased to five dollars a day, which was a generous salary for the times.

Workers stayed and became more productive than workers at other automobile factories who were not as well compensated. Other automobile manufacturers were forced to step up their game and do many of the things that Ford Motor Company was doing just to stay competitive within the industry.

Technology also changed and other automobile manufacturers had to change along with Ford. If changes were not made within competing companies, they would find that their automobiles would soon become obsolete.

New looks for automobiles began to emerge and cars had to change in order to attract customers. Customers wanted the newest and cutting edge technology and were willing to pay for it.

A Creative Leader

The ways that people used to pay for their new cars also had to become competitive to attract and keep customers loyal to a brand. Car loan programs began and over time, customers were given longer lengths of time to pay back their loans.

Once customers found they could also refinance car loans to a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment, they were hooked.

The easier it became to buy cars, the more cars could be sold to consumers. When customers had a taste of owning a vehicle, they kept coming back. Creative financing can be a key part of successful automobile sales.

A Charismatic Leader

Henry Ford’s influence went beyond automobile manufacturing and sales. He had many interests. For a time during the war, the company delved into aviation. They also explored creating and building technologically advanced military vehicles.

Henry Ford had a unique vision of his place in the world. He lived life with very few limits. This is something others have admired and emulated.

So, if you are not a naturally born visionary leader like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, what can you do to expand your creative vision right where you are to get better results with the people who you lead? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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———————
Robert Cordray

Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience
He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

Image Sources: autolife.umd.umich.edu

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