Iacocca- An autobiography

iacocca.jpg This is an autobiography of Lee (Lido) Iacocca, an outstanding leader of the American automobile industry, an American legend, who many urged to run for President of the country. This well-written book is Iacocca’s account of his typically Italian upbringing in the US, his rise through the ranks of Ford to become its President, and his transformational leadership of Chrysler. Iacocca describes the automobile industry of his day, the Japanese ‘attack’, and how he managed first Ford and then Chrysler through those turbulent times.

I liked the book not only because it provided a great look inside two big corporations that almost all of us have heard about, but also because of what it tells us about the American automobile industry. Even during his time in Ford and Chrysler, Iacocca was worried about the American reliance of foreign oil, the inability or unwillingness of leading American companies to introduce smallers cars, and the increasing American foreign debt. Iacocca’s autobiography is an insightful book for not only business men and women, but even ordinary people who want to learn more about the automobile industry or how things look from the top of any corporation.   

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53 responses to “Iacocca- An autobiography

  1. Greg Iske

    I have just recently started this book and just finished the first chapter. I enjoy how this book is stating out. I have read many autobiographies and this one is no different with the fact that it explains so much about the person from small events in his/her life. Coming from a Midwestern background it seems that Iacocca has very good morales and a hard nose work like attitude. This I can relate to. I have also enjoyed that his father has been one of the best motivators of his life with his wisdom of the business world and various knowledge of different subjects. This is a very good read and I have already recommended it to my peer group.

  2. Matt Fast

    I have started to read this book over the past two weeks. The book has really kept my attention so far and has a lot which relates to our Corp and Bus Strategy class. One thing I noticed in Chapter 5 was where he talked of how he looked at his key people and asked them what they looked to do in the future. He wanted to know what they are doing to better the company and how are they going to go about accomplishing that strategy for the quarter. Iacocca talked about how this was a large first step to his management style and how he still tried to use this review of his top executives in his later years. I really am excited to keep going in the book and finding out more about how great this CEO was and how he was able to do what he did.

  3. Lauren Harre

    I am hooked on this book so far. I really enjoy the fact that his father was such a good person and an influence. It seems like all the autobiographies I have read the relationship with parents was torn and the person usually came from such a terrbile background. On the other hand, if Iacocca would have followed in his fathers footsteps he would have ended up in the food industry. I find it ironic that his dad owned a Model T, and Iacocca grew up to be such an influence for Chrysler.

  4. Craig Thommes

    Although I am not very far into this book, I am really enjoying learning about Lee. It is interesting about how he keeps looking back and pointing out what else he could have gotten into (food industry). You can tell that Lee is not a quitter, and is just bursting with knowledge. I have tried to putt myself into his shoes whlie reading, just to put myself in his position.

  5. Lili Li

    I have only read couple chapters so far and I am already hooked. I have read many autobiographies before but none of them were as entertaining as this one. It’s interesting to know that Lee lived through so many important events in history and what he got out of all of that. In the same time I have learned much more about advancements in the auto industry. I am very happy that I picked this book. I told some classmates about this book and some of them actually decided to read this book instead of their first choice. This is one of those books that you just can’t seem to put it down untill you have finished it.

  6. Cody Greeb

    I just started reading the book and I am not too far into it. What I have read about was his family’s history. He has some amazing story that he and his family have been through. It talks about his families struggle through the Great Depression and how they went from a lot to almost nothing. His father and mother never gave up and I think it really inspired him to have the same attitude as well. The book is very interesting so far and I look forward to reading more about it.

  7. Lauren Harre

    In reading more of this book, I have learned a ton of little management tips from Iacocca. I especially like the quarterly review system. Iacocca also stresses the importance of motivation in management (I’m a management major) that most institutions do not cover. He says that not only do you need to know the field you are working in, to some degree, but it is more important to know how to deal with people and communicate effectively. I really enjoy this book, the clues in working with people, how it worked for him, and examples provide a lot of information.

  8. After reading more into this book I am liking Iacocca, the man and the book, more and more. I have gotten through his entire employment at ford and the book has just gotten really good. You can see why Iacocca got to the positions in his career he did by all of his management tips and just by the way he went about managing. I find it very sad the way he was released from Ford but sometimes I wonder if Henry Ford would tell the story a different way. I really like Iacocca so far and am impressed with the way he led his life. He was an honest hard-working man and took many risks in his life. He should be a model icon for many and I hope his personality continues to stay the same through the Chrysler years.

  9. Cody Greeb

    I am about 3/4 of the way though the book right now. I have read through Lee’s years at Ford and am just starting his years at Chrysler. The one thing that caught my attention the most when he was at for, was how crazy Mr. Ford was while he was CEO. It was like he was totally threatened by Lee. He should have loved him because he was a great innovator and brought Ford back with cars like the Mustang. Instead he ran probably his best man out of the company and also many other great managers at Ford. I am just reading how Iacocca is starting to restructure Chrysler and how he is trying to convince the government and consumers that the company is not a failure. He is just beginning to bring back the company. I look forward to reading about his years with Chrysler.

  10. Craig Thommes

    I have just finished reading Mr. Iacocca’s book and i must say that he does a great job at pointing out his hatred for Henry Ford. What i was most taken back at was the fact that Lee did a complete 180 when he headed to Chrysler. At Ford he was completely against the government and while at Chrysler he was begging for there mercy (and money). I still can’t believe that he worked there on a year’s salary of $1. Don’t expect me to do that anytime soon.

  11. Greg Iske

    I have just finished the chapters about the Mustang. Wow what an accomplishment. I like how Iaccoca saw a demand for the product and made a car for a certain group of people. The old way was creating a demand for the supply. That way I beleive is illogical in today’s business world. The one phrase that really summarized the success of the Mustang is when hot cake vendors had phrases that were “Hot Cakes were selling like Mustangs.”

  12. Lili Li

    I am still not yet finished with my book yet but the part that I found really amusing is the name selection for the Mustang. Few of the possibilities really made me laugh; i’m not sure about other people but I would not want to buy a car that’s named the Cheetah. This process appears easy but it could really get complicated; i can totally relate, my simulation group is having problems picking a name for our company.

  13. Tineisha Whitehead

    I’m still readin the book but so far it has been very interesting. Iacocca is a very hard working man. He has completely reorganized the Chrysler team to make a better and more efficient workforce. The in its self shows goal setting work ethic so that others will see that he can live up to the challenges Chrysler had to offer. I think that he was also very couragous in taking such a task even though he did not find out the full extent of the problem until a few months after he become CEO.

  14. Lauren Harre

    I have made a lot of progress since my last post and Iacocca has made a lot of progress in his career, with a few setbacks. I really enjoyed the success he had with the mustang as it is my favorite car, but then for Ford to fire him like he did (or didn’t) was horrible, made me a little less of a ford girl. Iacocca’s job at Chrysler seems to be more than almost anyone could handle, but he seems determined enough to make it work. I am curious to see what he does to make a comeback with Chrysler.

  15. Greg Iske

    The pace that I’m reading the book is no match for the pace of Iacocca in regards to him climbing up the Ford hierarchy. To have a presidency title at such a young age is a phenomenal feet in it self. So far the book is a great read. His comments about the inter workings of management and how to deal with employees is something that I can probably never truly pick up in a college textbook. This text is a book that should be read by any college student in a business field.

  16. Lili Li

    As I am reading this book, I found myself disliking Henry Ford. He’s portrayed in this book as this business man who’s not doing anything according to business standards. Seemed to me like he made all his decisions based on his personal feelings or gut feelings. He appeared to be someone that’s not open to new business opportunities or business expansion. It was almost as if he thinks he can do whatever he pleases and nobody and do anything about; not even the shareholders. Seemed to me like he wanted what’s best for himself and no consideration for everyone else involved in the corporation.

  17. Robert Brown

    Since I switched books so late I suppose I’ve got some catching up to do. Several things have struck me in this book. One is the relationship and impact Lee’s father had on him. I think its important for people to have someone to look up to growing up and this was definitely the case here as its evident his father had a large and direct impact on his life. The second main thing I noticed was how quickly Iacocca rose up the corporate ladder at Ford. To be promoted so frequently and quickly says a lot for his work ethic and what kind of an employee he was. I was surprised by the way he was suddenly let go from Ford. I think it would be interesting to get Mr. Ford’s take on what the circumstances of the situation were at the time. I’m almost done with the book and I’m really glad I decided to read this one.

  18. Craig Thommes

    In my last post I said that I had finished reading the book. Now I am finished with my report over it and in doing so i was really able to sit back and take the book in as a whole. Iacocca comes out as such a success story when you look at taking what life gives you and making the best of it.

  19. Alex Valensi

    Seeing as Iacocca is split into three sections and I am to comment on my progress of the autobiography in three posts, I felt it fitting to pair a section to a comment. The first section that I read is titled “Made in America” and it discusses the lengths that Lee’s father went through to come to America, and the struggle that his mother had aboard their boat ride. It tells of the prejudice Lee received in school and growing up for being Italian and how the other kids made fun of him because he liked pizza, which today is competing with burgers for the number one fast food food. It describes his high school, college, and grad school choices as well as his want to join the army, and disease that prohibited him. It sets the reader up for what is to come with all the references to how his father loved cars and was one of the few men on his block to own one. Lee’s experience on the debate team and study of psychology foreshadow the knowledge Lee will use in his decisions at the top of Ford and Chrysler.
    So far this book intrigues me and probes me to want to read more. Lee Iacocca is obviously a well tuned man and I fell there is a lot that can be learned from him; after all he was president of both Ford and Chrysler. His eagerness for life partially stems from his illness as well as from the motivation from his father where coming 12th in a school of 900 isn’t good enough. As of now I don’t know much about his career at Ford or Chrysler but his educational experience reminds me of my own. I spent the majority of my education in classes of no more than 20 and got the experience of a classroom where the teacher knew every student and the learning was hands on. I too studied psychology and was also faced with the choice of working after college or coming back for a graduate degree and while it was not on the level of Lehigh, Ford, and Princeton, my decision was likely as hard. I, as am sure Lee would agree, do not look back on my decision one bit. I hope to learn all that Lee chooses to teach in his autobiography and apply it my life and career in my years after Binghamton.

  20. Zeta (Jiaxi Chen)

    So far I have finished the first chapter—“Made in America”. There are two sections in this chapter: “The Family” and “School Days”. The first section tells us the story about how Lee’s father—an Italian immigrant, who became a successful restaurant owner, set a good example to Lee and have a deep influence on Lee’s future business career. The second section talks about the prejudice that Lee received at school for being an Italian and how other kids made fun of him because he liked pizza. It also describes his grow-up stories at high school, college, and Princeton University. For example, during the time period of World War 2, he couldn’t join the army because of a medical deferment. But it also turns out to be a good chance for him to attend classes with few classmates and get more attention from his professors. And finally he gets the opportunity to be an engineer at Ford Company.
    The more I read this biography, the more I feel that Lee Iacocca is destined to be successful in auto-maker business. During his early days, his father taught him a lot. For instance, his father tells Lees that even thing looks bad right now, but remember, it shall pass soon. His father also tells him that he should enjoy life and be optimistic. Thus, when Lee was exposed to bigotry as a kid, it didn’t leave a bad mark on his mind, because he knows that life isn’t always going to be fair, he has to be strong and optimistic to confront adversity. Lees also says that when he looks back on his father, he only remembers a man of great vigor and boundless energy. In ninth grade, Lee ran for president of the whole school and won the election by a landslide. ]But once he was elected, he lost touch with his constituency. He started acting like a snob. As a result, he lost the election in the second semester. He learned that the ability to communicate is everything. It was an important lesson about leadership. When he was a college student, Lee’s experience on the debate team and study of psychology also gives the knowledge that he will use in his decisions at the top of Ford and Chrysler. He also learned something from the crisis when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor that has stayed with him ever since it often takes a shot of adversity to get people to pull together. By the time he got to college, he knew how to concentrate and how to study without a radio or other distraction. He becomes a successful businessman because the ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business—or almost anywhere else, for that matter. Meanwhile, he can control his own schedules. He says “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got. Anyone who wants to become a problem-solver in business has to learn fairly early how to establish priorities. Formal learning can teach you a great deal, but many of the essential skills in life are the ones you have to develop on your own.” I feel I’m inspired by Lee’s successful story, I will keep on reading this book , and get more information that is helpful for my future business career.

  21. Ariana Axelrod

    I have yet to read much of this book for I originally started to read the book “Power Failure”. However, I found this book much more interesting and decided last minute to switch my choice. The beginning of the book caught my attention and I have found it very interesting to learn much about the early livelihood of Lee and his father. His father was obviously a huge influence on him and shaped the decisions he has made throughout his entire life. His high expectations motivated him to be something great. It is also clear that his childhood shaped Lee to be the great business man he will become in the future.

    I usually do not enjoy reading biographies but this book is easy to read and is hard to put down. I look forward to learning more about the man who shaped the American automobile industry to be what it is today.

  22. Michael Buxbaum

    After completing the first section “Made in America”, I am definitely intrigued to continue reading about Iacocca’s life and how he achieved such success. So far we learn about Iacocca’s family life and his schooling. More specifically, how Iacocca always managed to maintain a positive attitude through the adversity he faced. It is also evident that the relationship Iacocca shares with his father is instrumental to his future success. In this first section of the autobiography we are given some insight into the drive of Iacocca and I am looking forward to learning how he became in being one of the most influential businessmen in the American automobile industry.

  23. Zachary Unger

    After reading the first 100+ pages of Lee Iacocca’s autobiography I am more impressed with his management ability than I expected to be. I grew up in a ‘Ford family’ so from an early age I knew of Lee Iacocca, but only in regards to the fact that he was the brain child who gave birth to the Ford Mustang, and later saved the company, although I admit I had no idea how he did either of those things.

    My first major questions/incongruity that I have noticed is that in the first two pages of the book Lee Iacocca explains that this is not an anti-Ford or anti-Henry Ford book…he follows these two pages however with 150 pages of anti Ford material. He bashes on Henry Ford for being a coward, a poor manager, paranoid, and cold. Even if he thinks these things are true it seems silly to preface them with a statement denying that this book takes a stance against Henry Ford, when its clear he can not be unbiased against a company and a man who fired him.

    I’m very interested in the next major section of his book: the Chrysler years, as this is a major section of his professional life that I, as a loyal ‘Fordist’ know absolutely nothing about. I’ll keep you updated with my October/November Blogs.

  24. Alex Valensi

    My plan was to read a section per comment but I did not realize the book had 4 sections, I thought Lee’s career at Ford and Chrysler where in the same section. Since my last post, Lee changed his name from Lido and has begun to work at Ford. He started out in the engineer training program, but after a year wanted to be moved to sales; it is here that his life began. The section of this autobiography describes all of Lee’s accomplishments at Ford, and goes into great detail of how they turned out the Mustang, and the ups and downs they had with the small car market. It also paints a picture of the ending relationship that Lee had with Henry Ford. Maybe I was blind at the beginning of the section since I only seemed to notice Lee’s negative words towards Henry after I read Zack’s comment, but they were harsh and I guess deserving so. It must be frustrating to have to write about all the things you wanted to accomplish but couldn’t yet know the outcome. At the time of Lee’s suggestions, he only believed that they would work, and he may have had some research to back him up, but years later when he writes his autobiography, he knows the direction the auto industry went, and to know that you were right must be worst of all. Lee describes how he climbed the ranks at Ford to become the President and how he became closer with Henry. He also painfully describes the war the raged on between himself and Henry in his final years at Ford as Henry’s suspicion of Lee increased and began to fill him with paranoia. The last thing I read was how Lee went through hell and back but was finally given the axe at Ford, how he saw Henry for the last time at a Dinner Ball, and how he was secretly courted by Chrysler and eventually accepted their offer for presidency with the condition of CEO within a year or so. I can’t say I know much about cars, as growing up in New York City left my family no need for an automobile, but I am an avid top gear fan which is Brittan ‘s most famous car show and perhaps that of the world. Still, you don’t need to know cars to understand the success that Lee had at Ford and even though he says that just because you were president of one company, does not mean you can run another, I still feel that Lee has a lot to teach that can be applied to the business world throughout and I intended to learn all I can in the remainder of this book.

  25. Jiaxi(Zeta)Chen

    Since my last post, until now I have just finished read the chapter of “The Mustang”.
    The part of “The Ford Story” describes Lee’s successful career at Ford. During his training as “student engineer”, he changed his career and wanted to become a sales person. Then it spends him several years to be a successful sales manager. As he said that if you do enough of it, you eventually get the hang of what you’re doing. Lee did make this come true by successfully introducing Mustang, which make him become one of the top management at Ford.
    I feel Lee did very well in business was his ability to adapt quickly in any situation. For example, before he went to South to give a sales presentation, he stated that his first name was Iacocca, and his family name was Lee rather than introduce himself as Lee Iacocca. The new name made him no longer seem to be an outsider, but one of the good ole boys.
    Lee says there is one word that describes a good manager, and it is “decisiveness”. You have to think on your feet. This is exactly what he did in 1956. His district was last in sales. He decided to introduce a new program called “56 for 56”. This program made it possible to purchase a new 1956 Ford for 20 % down and $56.00 a month for 3 years. The program was a huge success. His district went from last place in sales to first place. Due to this program it was estimated that an extra 75,000,000 cars were sold.
    He also used good marketing research data, he surrounded himself with good people, and he was willing to listen to them. He was also willing to take the risk of introducing a new product. All of this combined to make the Mustang a success. Lee became known as the Father of the Mustang and VP of Ford.
    I felt so inspired by the end of “The Mustang”. I mean most of time only few people can become successful in their business area. Lee is one of them. Do what you want to do, work hard to be prepared and catch the chance to be successful seems direct Lee to the path of creating miracle. I appreciate that I can read “Iacocca” to learn a lot from Lee Iacocca. I will keep on reading this book faster and post another blog at this month

  26. Michael Buxbaum

    I have now read the section titled “The Ford Story.” In this section we learn of Iacocca’s rise to the top of the Ford Motor Company to his eventual firing. In the beginning of this section we are taught many lessons that Iacocca picked up during his time at Ford. Some of these lessons include: salesmanship takes time and effort and you must practice your skills over and over again until they become second nature, mistakes are a part of life and you should never make the same mistake twice, and top management are essentially motivators, aside from just being decision makers. These statements, among many others, are essentials to being successful in business and in life.
    In addition, one part of the story that was astonishing to me was how the neurotic Henry Ford ran his company. The general public definitely does not know about his paranoia, bad ethics, and the immature way he went about his firings. Iacocca outlines how Ford was not really the leader people think he is, myself included, and that he essentially had no contribution in his company’s successes.

  27. Frank Balice

    I have read most of The Ford Story at this point (sorry for the delay in the post) and I must say I’m pretty impressed with Mr. Iacocca’s rise to the top. I wouldn’t say its a true rags-to-riches story but he has certainly worked hard throughout his life and lets face it, the man has a gift.

    The beginning of the book focuses slightly on his pre-college years and growing up as an Italian immigrant’s son in a prejudice society. It then moves to his days at Lehigh and Princeton and his eventual days at Ford. At Ford he rose to a top management position and has an office in “The Glass House.” He offers insight into what makes an effective salesman, manager and just how to have good business sense. Probably the most interesting thing I read was his description about how the Mustang came to be and it was great just to know how a car company creates and actually develops a new model.

    What I felt was most relevant to the course were his keys to management. I really feel like he hit the nail on the head by saying managers must be very accomplished speakers. I feel like you could be one of the dumbest people in a room but if you are the most articulate and enrapturing your going to be viewed as the smartest. Furthermore, his philosophy on employee reviews and goal setting I also think is spot-on. His quarterly review system seems quite efficient and allows employees in lieu of their superiors to design their goals and allows them to be self-managed. Also, if they don’t meet these goals, they only have themselves to be frustrated with because they set these goals. I think its a great motivator and I know it would make me want to work harder to show my boss that not only can I do my job but I can do it pretty damn good.

  28. Z. Unger

    To start with, I appologize for the lateness of this posting. Iacocca remains an intriguing man and story by the conclussion of the Ford story and into the Chrysler section. I still chuckle at Iacocca’s insistance that this is not an anti-Ford book, even as he calls Ford the worst manager to work for, the beginning of the end of Ford and other clearly anti-Ford names. I feel this story would be more credible with a basic acceptance that Iacocca is anti-Ford instead of a back and forth denial and denegration.

    I was extremely interested by the incongruity of Iacocca’s foresight and Ford’s racism/here-and-now attitude. I am of course refering to Iacocca’s deal with Honda motors for small block reliable engines for a new line of small cars. This is obviously a deal that would have created a new line of small cars which were in ultra high demand extremely quickly, and easily would have made Ford the first to market with a new small car-small block combination. It would have been a knock out punch to GM but instead this was kiboshed by Ford, as he would not have a ‘Jap-motor’ in his cars. This was a foolish and arrogant decision to make, and shows his decision making methods. He would display these many more times, typically when he would fire one of Iacocca’s people, just to hurt Iacocca. This sounds like the actions of a mad-man at the helm of the company, which brings us to a major problem: Ethics! I have to wonder about how no one ever stopped Ford from taking company jets on personal trips, and a series of other blatant offenses. Furthermore I was appaled at the total lack of caring or action shown by Ford’s board upon the firing of Iacocca. It is the one and only job of the board to ensure that the CEO is setting a strategy that will lead to the company to profitability in the best way possible. To stand by as the greatest talent the company had is fired for a personal vendetta is truly ludacris. Oh well, onwards to greener pastures I suppose…unless those pastures are in Chrysler’s office.

    At the beginning of the Crysler story, Iacocca tells us about the total disaster he had on his hands. A series of firings, sales, huge policy changes, personnel changes, loans, product line changes, and, I’m certain, many headaches later I am at a point where I have no idea what actually happens to Chrysler…I know the end of that sentence was definately a let down, but I only know what actions Iacocca took to help the company, and have not yet seen results. I’m eager to see how he intends to pay back an enormous loan, and apparently how he does it earlier than the government anticipated.

    On a personal note, I am not certain I would have continued on to Chrysler knowing the situation they were in…to take over a company ailing as badly as they were, seems a monumental task, and perhaps more than most anyone would want after being number two at Ford.

    Y’all be hearin’ from me in ‘nother month.

  29. Ariana Axelrod

    I too would like to start off by apologizing for the delay in this post. I sat down to write it several times and did not come up with anyone substantial to comment on and figured it would be better to wait until I had something worthwhile saying. First, I would just like to comment on the fact that this book is much better than I actually expected it to be! I am not a fan of reading in general, so to find a book that I actually enjoy reading, let alone can even get through is quite a feat. Never would I expect a book required for class would spark my interest as much as this one has. I have read about one third of the book at this point in time. I am at the point where Iacocca is actually hired to be the President of Ford Motor Company and have found a few points made pretty interesting.

    The first comment that intrigued me was made by Iacocca in the chapter where he is explaining the expected failure of the Cardinal. Iacocca explained briefly that a technology will not only be unsuccessful if it is released too late, but it will also be unsuccessful if it is sold too early. This to me was extremely interesting because it always seems as if in today’s market there is always a race to be the innovative company that comes out with the newest technology and be the pioneer. However, if the culture is not ready for the release, the product will ultimately not sell, even if that particular product may have been the most popular item 5 years down the line. To me, this just adds a greater respect for those people who were pioneers in their industry, that were able to come up with a brand new technology and succeed. Among these great innovators that I, as an engineer, have a strong admiration for is Lee Iacocca. I loved reading about the inner workings of creating the Mustang, which is obviously still a very popular car to this day. I had no idea how any of the operations of such a production are run.

    I also found it interesting that the man Henry Ford hired that was extremely successful at GM, was pretty much a failure at Ford. I believe the general public would find these two companies to be similar, since they are both American car companies that compete in pretty much the same market, one would think that they would be run pretty similarly. However, this is obviously not the case, and where one person may thrive in one working condition, they will not be as successful.

    I look forward to reading about the downfall of Lee Iacocca at Ford Motor Company and how such a well liked man who created the Mustang and the Mark II becomes an enemy of Henry Ford.

  30. Jiaxi(Zeta)Chen

    I would talk about the rest of the Ford story since my last book blog. (From “Encore” to “The Day After”)
    In January 1965, Lee got a quick promotion and became the VP of Ford because the success of the Mustang. To create a new identity of Lincoln –Mercury, Lee and his ad agency use the Cougar as the effective symbol of the whole division successfully. He says that whenever you’re trying to promote a brand name, your first task is to make clear where the brand is available. That’s why the symbol of “Cougar” is a huge success, and everybody knows about Lincoln-Mercury today. Following the success of Mustang, Lee also introduced new car Mark Three to Lincoln Division, which is as big a success as he has ever had in his career. The Mark is Ford’s biggest moneymaker, just as Cadillac is for General Motors. As Lee said that you have to have something for everybody. And The Mark represents the luxurious car that is targeted at high-class customers. When Ford takes care of the low end of the market as well, the success of The Mark shows that Lee knows very well that multiple products portfolio is very important to help Ford Company get more market shares and make big profits.
    Although Henry Ford appointed Knudsen who came from GM as the president of Ford Company, but it only lasted nine months which turned out that the success in one Car Company does not always guarantee success in another. On December 10, 1970, Lee finally got what he was waiting for: the presidency of Ford. As everyone knows, there are only two ways to make money: sell more goods or spend less on overhead. Since the sales at Ford were good at that moment, so the first moved Lee made as president was to work with top managers to cut expenses. He did a good job at cutting expenses, and it saved a lot of money for Ford. I think as the top management at Ford, he also knows good leadership is very crucial to his employees as he said that the speed of the boss is the speed of the team.
    In the rest chapters of “The Ford Story”, Lee also explained what happened between him and Henry Ford, why he got fired and left Ford where he spent all his adult life here. Lee is very sensitive to the change of car market and could make a quick reaction to satisfy the customer needs. He first successfully introduced the small car Fiesta to the European market. And in 1979, when he saw the Japanese imports on the rise, he wants to work with Honda to Introduce Fiesta to American markets, but Henry Ford refused to cooperate with Japanese Car Company just because he is not a big fan of Japan but Europe. At last, Lee concluded that he was fired for being a threat to Henry Ford. Henry is a dictator with a lot of insecurity, he was convinced that if anything happened to him, Lee would somehow manipulate the Ford family and take over the company. Henry conducted a full-scale investigation of both Lee’s business and personal life but found out nothing wrong with Lees; He started to attack Lee indirectly by firing anyone that he considered to have a close relationship with Lee without appropriate reasons; He humiliated Lee by replacing the standard structure of chairman and president. At last, there was nothing else he could do but fired Lee without giving him a good reason. It reminded me the movie “The last castle” we watched before. It’s all about the leadership management issues. Lee who made millions dollars for Ford is the father of Mustang, Mark Three and Fiesta. He also did a good job as top management at Ford. He was very popular at Ford and undoubtedly engaged in transformational leadership with his subordinates. However, Ford neglected his employees and cared about his own interest. He could fire anyone whenever he wants. He is the dictator who engaged in transactional leadership with all his employees, which makes Ford Company a dictatorship. Unfortunately, Lee is also under the command of Henry. I feel sorry for all the pains that Lee got from Henry. Yet, when he was kicked out by Ford, to some extent, I feel it is a good thing for Lee who could finally get out of the ridiculous dictatorship. I could use an old Chinese proverb to generalize this kind of situation— “After the cunning hare is killed, the hound is boiled; after work is done, those who did the work are discarded.” Just because of the success and millions bucks Lee brought to Ford, he became a big threat to Henry. If we work for the boss like Henry, the only way for us is to get away from the big trouble, the sooner the better, which will be easier for us in the future. As Lee himself mentioned, if he could leave Ford earlier, the situation will be not that bad.

  31. Jiaxi(Zeta)Chen

    Since my last book blog, finally, I have finished the whole book of Iacocca and could give my last comment of this book.

    In chapter “the Chrysler story”, after Lee left Ford, he came to Chrysler as chairman and CEO. Even there was no question that Chrysler had a respectable past, the actual situation was much worse than Lee could image. For example, one of Chrysler’s biggest problems was that even its top management didn’t have a very good idea of what was going on in this company; it needed a dose of order and discipline; no resource is given to improve product quality; nobody at Chrysler seemed to understand that interaction among the different functions in a company is absolutely critical; it even had no overall system of financial controls , which made it is very difficult to get hold if the right numbers so that we could begin to attach some of Chrysler’s basic problems…apparently , Lee was aboard a sinking ship.

    Lee said that all business operations can reduce to three words: people, product, and profits; and people come first. I totally agree with that. Without building a good team, you can do any business successfully. But Chrysler was lack of resource in every department, thus Lee found a lot of retired Ford executives to save Chrysler. With their experience and proven ability, there outsourced retirees all contributed to the revitalization of Chrysler. Lee understood product quality is top priority to car business, and considered good quality as Chrysler’s product strategy all the time. I also admired the close association between Chrysler and its advertising agency. It was really helpful for ad agency keep up with Chrysler immediately. And the two marketing programs Chrysler worked with its ad agency were very extraordinary too. Both programs turned out to be surprisingly successful. Because the important thing to remember is that Chrysler was trying everything possible to assure potential buyers that Chrysler stood behind what it said.

    Astoundingly, the post-Iran oil shortage happened in 1979, which was devastation to all the auto-maker industry. Lee tried every effort to cut expenses, but the thing still didn’t work out very well. Lee talked a lot about company’s social responsibility and government regulation in this kind of bad economy situation. Personally, I agree with Lee’s opinion. More staff guys should be laid off than line guys because when the bullets start to fly, the staff is always the first out the door. Companies should survive in bad economy situation even a lot of employees have to been fired and lost their jobs. Appropriate government regulation is very necessary to keep the competitive market and jobs. Besides management administration of Chrysler, government regulation should also take 50% responsibility of Chrysler in this kind of bad economy. When it comes to the chapter of “equality of sacrifice”, Lee mentioned that leadership means setting an example, so he cut his own salary as well. Finally, after Chrysler was entitled to receive the first installment of federally backed loans, the new Chrysler Corporation was in business to stay.

    The K-Car was introduced by Chrysler during its darkest days, which is a mixture of new and previous cars. Lee also gave a speculation that Ford should merger with Chrysler to beat GM and Japanese auto-maker companies. There are a lot of benefits if the merger between Ford and Chrysler, but until now this speculation still doesn’t become true. In 1984, Chrysler brought out a new product that was both fun and very profitable—the T115 minivan; it also record profits and paid back loan.

    The final portion of the book, titled “Straight Talk”, consists of (among other things) rhetoric arguing for legislation compelling Americans to wear seatbelts.

    In conclusion, I have fun to read this book , but most importantly , I have learned a lot about the Lee’s management philosophy , which will be useful in my future business career. Thank you, “Lee Iacocca”!

  32. Alex Valensi

    Since my last post I have now finished the book. The third section describes Lee’s time at Chrysler and how he suffered and fought to restore its former glory. Lee describes how the situation at Chrysler when he first boarded was dire and nothing like he was used to at Ford. He began to implement the practices that had served him well over his years at Ford, but that was not enough. A government loan was in order if Chrysler was to have any hope of staying afloat. While it was not easy, largely opposed, and was the center of much media, the loan was finally awarded and Chrysler began its upswing. Lee continued by describing the economic conditions of the country and provided what he felt were solutions to the problems. He even describes how the media portrayed him as a potential presidential candidate which after reading his opinions and suggestions does not sound farfetched. He ends that section on a sad note with the death of his wife and adds that has she have been alive for two more weeks, she would have seen the loan be repaid in its entirety and that positive news might have roused her a little more and prolonged her life. The last section of the book is comprised of four “rants” of Iacocca that cover how to deal with road safety, labor costs, Japan, and making America great. He argues for the use of seat belts, dismantles unions, praises Japanese culture and work ethic and compares America to when it was good. It is difficult to fully take in what Lee has to say in the last section as we are now more than 20 years later so his numbers such as national deficit have little meaning since they must be 10 fold by now according to his growth rate. I do however agree with Lee’s arguments even though they might not be 100% relevant and while I am certain this book has been “prettied” up I think that he would have made a good president, then. His arguments are very logical but sound to futuristic for its time; almost like a scientist in the Middle Ages professing that it is the earth that revolves around the sun and not us that is the center of the universe. Iacocca is a man that has done a tremendous amount for this country and ending the book preaching is in a sense overkill. He does however redeem himself with the closing lines of how he has and will always be a sales man and pitches us his plan for the restoration of Ellis Island.

  33. Frank Balice

    I apologize for the late post. Since my last blog I have finished reading about Lee’s diminishing tenure at Ford and his eventual transfer to Chrysler.

    After helping create the Mustang, Lee eventually rose up in the ranks at Ford and eventually became President. During Lee’s tenure as President it seemed as if Henry Ford was beginning to lose his mind. He forced Lee to fire several executives for ridiculous reasons. He even began investigating Lee because he felt threatened by his high popularity. Furthermore, he felt that that Iacocca may steal the motor company away from him. Finally, Henry snapped and fired Lee (probably one of the worst decisions ever made). Lee made sure he was given what he felt he was due.

    After a few months of unemployment, Lee was contacted by Chrysler, secretly, about possibly coming over. Chrysler was in extreme peril and needed a guy like Lee to turn it around. The subsequent chapters talk about how Lee did a little a little house cleaning with personnel and policy. However, this wasn’t enough to save Chrysler and Lee, against most of his convictions, was basically forced to ask the government to intervene. After much debate and a boatload of opposition the government finally agreed to loan Chrysler money. Moreover, Chrysler had to work with hundreds of banks to get this situation settled. They had several loans outstanding at banks and they had to convince them to restructure the loan agreements to go along with the government legislation.

    What I found most interesting about this part of the book was just how crazy Henry Ford was. He was a true Machiavelli, he felt Lee getting too close and he had to get rid of him, but by modern standards. It just shows how top management can really ruin a company. This man got rid of the best thing that happened to Ford. Without Lee Iacocca, who knows where Ford would have been in the 60s and 70s.

    Also, I found the whole loan guarantee situation with the government fascinating. I though it showed a lot of humility but sternness of Lee, a true free-enterpriser, to put his tail between his legs and ask for help. But, a good manager should know when to ask for aid. I believe Lee acted in the best interest of Chrysler and all those affected by a possible bankruptcy of this car manufacturer. The opposition to this was amazing and somehow Lee used his wit, intelligence and every connection he had to get this passed. It was a long and winding road that had three foot potholes but somehow Lee Iacocca road that little 40 mpg K-car out of a certain grave and into prosperity.

  34. Ariana Axelrod

    I have completed reading this book since my last posting on this site. Although I did enjoy this book for the most part, there were several parts of the book that dragged a bit more than others.

    Since my last blog, I have learned about Lee’s great success as the President of Ford, so much so that Henry Ford felt threatened enough to fire him. It was very interesting to read this part of the story, and learn how flat out immature Mr. Ford is as a person. It is unbelievable that such a well known and respected man displays the maturity level of a teenager in the handling of his business ethics. Ultimately, even though Iacocca made the company a lot of money with his involvement in successful cars such as the Mustang and the Mark III, Ford fired him and left him high and dry.

    The next portion of the novel is the story of Iacocca’s time spent at Chrysler. This story, I found towards the middle, began to drag a bit as he started to mention many different people’s names whom I have never heard of before and will probably never hear of again, as well as over-explain the process by which Chrysler received their loan guarantees. Although this is obviously an extremely important aspect of Iacocca’s time spent with the company, as I just stated, his writing became slightly boring. However, the hardship and struggle faced by the leaders of Chrysler at this particular time period shows a very admirable quality trait of Iacocca. He is highly motivated, and does not quit no matter what. I relate to this in some way. No matter how difficult a task and how much I do not enjoy it, I find it very difficult to just get up and walk away from it. Iacocca’s drive and will to lead his company into somewhat of a victory (for only $1 a year!) is honorable and causes me to have great respect for him. He is a role model and a person that engineers and businessmen should look up too.

    The last part of the book examines some random aspects of Iacocca’s industry and I found to be a much easier read than the middle part of the Chrysler story. In this part of the book he is very witty, which allows for an easy read.

    Altogether, this book was very inspiring, especially for a young aspiring engineer and business student such as myself. I wholly enjoyed reading it and I look forward to sharing a more in depth analysis of my thoughts on this book in my report to come.

  35. Donelle Bailey

    So far I think that this is an interesting book. In the prologue, Lee Iaccoca gives us an idea of how his luxurious opportunity was snatched from him at Ford and how even through these trials and tribulations he still managed to come out on top. In the first chapter of the book he opens us up to his family life and how life was for him growing up in Pennsylvania. He also mentions how he intially started doing business in the food industry but then later made the automobile industry his main focus. Overall I think this will be a good read.

  36. Stacey Hertz

    Iacocca is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. The automobile industry is definitely Lee’s passion and destiny in life. I have read more than half of the book so far and feel that his story is very powerful engaging. Also, I have learned a lot from reading about his life as an Italian child and his family background. I believe that Iacocca’s family, especially his father, has shaped his life and instilled in him a code of morals and ethics that Iacocca would use during his future business career. This moral behavior is clearly seen during his reign as President of Ford, where he consistently displays ethical behavior to run the business. His father taught him many valuable lessons in life such as to always stay optimistic during hard times how to run a restaurant. As a child, his Italian heritage exposed him to bigotry and prejudices rise above bigotry. However, his parents taught him to rise above it, even though “being exposed to bigotry as a kid left its mark.” Furthermore, his education as an undergraduate student at Lehigh University and his graduate education at Princeton University also had a huge impact on him and allowed him to become an extremely intelligent and insightful person. He seemed to greatly benefit from the fact that he had small classes in college and was able to get to know his professors as a result, since many people his age were fighting in World War II. Iacocca used this knowledge when he first started to work for Ford as a student engineer. Over time, he began to realize he wanted to be where the “real action was-marketing or sales,” and his dream was soon granted to him after fighting hard for it. As Lee moves up the ranks on the sales and marketing side of Ford he forms long lasting friendships with many people, such as Charlie Beacham and Robert McNamara, and establishes great connections with the dealerships, which proved to be very useful for him later in his life. Lee is portrayed as a people-person and he can easily relate to people in a way they can respond to. But in my opinion, two of Iacocca’s greatest successes at Ford came with his idea to produce the Mustang and Mark III. He is known as the “Father of the Mustang” and Ford generated a lot of profits because of these cars. Lee’s career at Ford reaches a pinnacle when he becomes President of the company. While reading this book, I learned about the intense competition between Ford and GM and also what it takes to be a good leader. I still cannot believe that Henry Ford, the CEO of Ford is so unethical and greedy. Lee describes how Henry could not bring himself to fire employees and always made him do his dirty work. In the beginning, he had a good relationship with Henry. Lee loved his job as the President and enjoyed the prestige and power of his position. But as Henry realized how valuable Lee was to his company and how many people looked up to him, he became threatened by him. This led to Henry’s mission to humiliate Lee and destroy their relationship; ultimately leading up to Lee’s firing from Ford. Lee is completely devastated after Henry fired him, especially after all that he has accomplished for Ford and for Henry. The fact that Henry completely alienated Lee and his family from everyone that he had been friends with at Ford over the years speaks great lengths as to the type of person Henry Ford really was. Iacocca’s depiction of Ford really gave me new insight into the automobile industry and I am very excited to keep reading the rest of his novel.

  37. Clarissa A. Michel

    Lee Iacocca’s autobiography thus far, has been very appealing. Iacocca in the beginning of his book notes that he did not understand why his book was so popular, because it was not premised on sex or secret spies. He was right! I feel that his autobiography is interesting to read simply because it seems like a very true-heartfelt account of Iacocca’s upbringing and his time at Ford.
    The chapter “Making America Great Again,” Iacocca alludes that he feels that the United States is unable to sustain its image as a fortified country. His claims may or may have not been true at the time, but definitely appears to ring true at the present, with our failing economy. What is interesting about Iacocca’s assessment, is that he believes that though America may very well lose its global competitive advantage, that “Americans are not going to accept second-class status in the world” (x). To this claim, I may have to disagree with Iacocca, merely due because of the social status of the American people.

    Because I believe that business, capitalism, economics and all their connotations are part of a matrix of social issues; Americans may well allow or have allowed ourselves to accept “second-class status” in the world. Americans taking the back seat, per se, is evidenced in one of the most prevalent issues facing our society, education. Many now question Americans ability to compete globally with students of other countries such as India and China. Thus, if we do not reconstruct our education system (and work “bottom’s up”), then we may very well accept second-class citizenry in the global world.

    Based on what I have read so far in Iacocca’s autobiography, and perhaps this is a result of watching Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me,” it is easy to correlate how Iacocca felt when he was fired from Ford, to how the factory works at General Motors felt when they were laid off. Iacocca would have definitely been able to sympathize with the General Motors workers because he too, lost some sense of his own livelihood.

    – Clarissa M.

  38. Katherine Higgins

    So far in my readings of ‘Iacocca’ I have gone through 3 chapters. I didn’t know much about Iacocca’s life, and like how he is someone who ‘failed’ in one sense, and because of that failure (being fired by Ford) the door to the biggest accomplishment of his life. People are always saying that failure is good, but we really don’t always believe them. In this case we see a real life example (as is Abraham Lincoln) that failure leads us to our destiny.

    His story also illustrates an example of someone overcoming racial obstacles. While his racial obstacles are not as high as others, at the time racism against Italian immigrants and their families was a big issue.

    I also liked what we learned about time management and work/life balance. In chapter 2 he talks about how in college he would use theh time during the week to accomplish a lot, so on the weekends he could spend time with family and friends, then on Sunday nights he would plan out what he needed to do that week so he could use that time to the best of his ability. Being able to manage one’s priorities is very important especially in today’s cut throat business environment.

  39. Elena Patch

    Thus far, Iacocca: An Autobiography has been extremely interesting and engaging. Lee Iacocca has learned much of what he knows from his father, but on his own he has become a great leader and worker for the automobile industry. Lee is very passionate about what he does and how he does it. Ethics and morals are essential to him in how he runs the Ford company and eventually Chrysler. Another thing I have really enjoyed about this autobiography is how Lee describes his background and his family, which really shape the story to who he has become and how he uses this to run a business. This novel has already gotten me interested in Lee Iacocca and the automobile industry and I look forward to continue reading it.

  40. Freddy Aguero

    Iacocca is well on its way to becoming one of my favorite autobiographies on my list. It seems as if his young life brought various hardships which would build his confidence and strength. By learning to deal with situations, such as the Depression and culture adversity, Lee was able to create a mindset for solving problems and appreciating the value of possessions. As a young child he also observed the characteristics and habits of his father, from whom he learned numerous lessons, which he still applies to his life today.
    Lee sure lived his fair share of events. His unique lifestyle is bound together by life-changing events from which he takes away small lessons. Starting as a child, his attitude and view on life evolves with each event that hits him. It would be quite difficult to imitate his life to create a great one of your own. However, I learned that if a person lives a life by following simple rules, such as being happy and having passion for everything you do, then opportunities will arise and you will have many paths to choose from.

  41. Caner Camci

    I have just started the reading and I read the part that is related to Lee’s background before joining the Ford. It talks about how his family migrated to America from Italy and how he became successful at his college years. I think the important factor that affects his success in a good way is his fathers’ way of perspective towards life and his moral behavior. He decides to accept offer from Princeton University before joining the Ford to get his Undergraduate license and he also has a verbal contract with Ford that he will start to work when he just finishes the undergraduate license in Princeton Uni. He starts working as an engineer but then he realizes that he wants to be a part of sales and advertising department. The book shows that how someone can level up one by one in his career if he/she works hard and decides where he/she wants to be at, and how someone does not need to give up in bad conditions. It is a good opportunity to read that kind of books to understand how things are going on in real business life.

  42. Cem ERBUG

    I was able to read until the 3rd chapter, “The Ford Story” so far. Iacocca talked about his family and school life. His life story is very exciting. Especially, at the end of the chapter “School Days”, I felt very nervous while reading him forgets to get the job promise in writing, but, of course, he quickly over comes this little obstacle. From what I’ve read so far, I can say that Iacocca is a very determined and strong person. I am excited to read the rest of ook. the b

  43. Caner Camci

    So far, I have read the half of the book and I am at the Chrysler part of the book right now. The first half of the book shows us how fluctuated life Iacocca had in Ford. On the one hand he takes the company in one stage and puts it on an upper stage through his own ability I think, on the other hand, the king Henry realizes how competitive he is and becomes frightened thinking he is a threat to the company’s future. Henry thinks he is a threat because, Lee successfully climbs up the stairs and attracts the business world with his talent, and that rise may ends up with the takeover of the company. He thinks the company’s owner is the Ford family and they are the ones who have the right of the last decision which ends the Lee’s career. The book shows how competitive the business world is and how people can dig others grave to get rid of them for their own sake even if, you are the most successful one in your segment. But it also shows us if you are talented enough you will be the winner every time even if you have bad times in your career.

  44. Evan Gabriel

    I have read through about half of the book right now, getting up to the firing at Ford and his joining Chrysler. What I have found most interesting thus far is Lee Iacocca’s management and strategy tactics. With a backround in engineering, he has a unique opportunity to understand the complicated aspects of the auto industry, and still be able to handle to complicated aspects of management. It was also interesting to see how much politics is involved in a company like Ford Motors, especially since it is a publically traded company. The only thing that I take exception with was the fact that he asked why the board of directors did not take a stand when he was fired, when at the same time he did not support some of his best friends when they were let go. I am interested to see the tactics that he uses to get Chrysler on track, and if they are the same as what he used at Ford to climb the ladder.

  45. Cem Erbug

    So far I have read up to the 19th chapter, Chrysler Goes to Congress. His autobiography gets more interesting by the page. The way I see it, Iacocca learns from his and everyone else’s mistakes pretty quickly. The change in his sales technique after the egg incident could be an example of this.
    He was able to obtain his dream job, working for Ford in 1946. He worked his way up to Presidency in fairly early ages. Timing was also helpful; between the years of 1945 and 1950 there had been no car production because of the war, so they were in high demand. He was in the hearth of it, and he saw the opportunity. Henry Ford’s jealousy and Iacocca’s success ended up being the reason for him getting fired from his job, during the 8th year of his presidency at Ford.
    His ambition brought him back in to the car business, because after working in the car industry for almost 32 years he felt like this is where he belongs. He starts in Chrysler as the president; however, the company is in worse shape than he thought. Even though he knew they were not doing well, he did not see how the company had been operating for all those years. Everything was in complete disorder. After he organizes the company from scratch, he starts looking for ways to get the company back on its feet. Debates on “Should Chrysler Be Saved?” were getting hotter. Despite all the objections, he decides that the company should be saved and the only way of doing this is to get a loan from the government.

  46. Stacey Hertz

    Since my last post, I have almost completed the book, with less than fifty pages to go. This book has kept me very intrigued and consistently teaches me new things. Iacocca never ceases to amaze me with his intelligence and clever ideas. It takes an extremely bright man to turn around a failing company, yet Iacocca managed to do this as CEO of Chrysler. He always stressed the importance of a strong management team and once he stepped in to save Chrysler, Iacocca did whatever need to be done to ensure that he had a solid team working with him. Once he had his team built, he was determined to take drastic measures to change the financial health of the company. He conveyed the immense sacrifices that had to be made in order to save the company and in my mind, Iacocca made an extremely generous sacrifice in reducing his salary to a mere dollar. I think it was very courageous of him to finally make the decision to ask the government for federal aid. I would have never imagined it being so difficult to get the support of the government, but Iacocca showed how determined he was to get the loan guarantees. He gave speech after speech to Congress and never gave up even in the face of some strong opposition from Congress member and even the media. It was also shocking to see how many strings were attached to these guarantees. But, I was very pleased to learn that Iacocca was able to pay back these loans early and prove to the government that Chrysler did not need federal aid anymore. Iacocca tried to make some profits with the development of the K-car, although, it was not enough to overcome the poor economy and the strict payments associated with the loans. Once the loans were paid back, Iacocca began to return to his element and started to have some fun again making cars. He had a huge success with the minivan and Chrysler started earning profits again. I was very happy to see all of Lee’s work finally pay off and have the company back on its feet again. I look forward to seeing how the book finishes and to learn more from Iacocca and his life experiences in the business world.

  47. Clarissa A. Michel

    Iacocca’s autobiography is honestly a good read. Unlike other biographies I have read, Iacocca’s has been the most animated. Reading his life’s story makes him seem more like a real person as it allows insight to his life. Iacocca’s journey to arriving at Ford, despite his hard work, seems to have been a stroke of luck. As a result of neglecting to keep in touch with Dearborn Leander McCormick-Goodheart, the Ford recruiter who was drafted into the war, Iacocca quickly learned the importance of networking in addition to communication. Iacocca was lucky in the sense that, Goodheart’s boss still allowed him an opportunity to work for the organization, despite Goodheart’s absence.

    Also interesting, thus far in this book, was Iacocca’s resilience of working at Ford. Although he chose to attend Princeton for his master’s degree, he still had his sights set on Ford. He could have easily decided to work for another manufacturing company, but he instead, insisted on working at Ford. His persistence for securing a place at Ford really stood out to me as a student, who is virtually torn between a career in business and law.

    Overall, I look forward to reading more of Iacocca’s autobiography, as I sincerely believe I can apply one or many lessons he claimed to have learned at Leigh; especially the art of time management.

  48. Elena Patch

    After getting past the introductions and background of Lee Iacocca, which I wrote about in my first post, I am really getting into the business part of the novel. I have never found myself so absorbed in an autobiography in my life. I am really enjoying hearing about the way management and business works in Ford and how Iacocca has made his way to the top. I found it really interesting when I learned that Lee Iacocca was not originally in sales and marketing, but made up his mind to take his career in a new direction. I have been able to read and learn about the relationships that Lee has formed throughout his time at Ford and how it helped him to reach the top. Although soon faced with a horrible downfall, Iacocca will open new doors and continue to succeed. He is a great businessman, always fair and confident in achieving his goals. I really am looking forward to finishing the autobiography soon and seeing where Lee Iacocca takes me in his journey through two of the largest car manufacturers in the world.

  49. Stacey Hertz

    In my last post, I must say that Iacocca’s in by far the best autobiography I have ever read. In the last section of the novel, called Straight Talk, Iacocca raises some very interesting ideas. Throughout the chapter How To Save Lives On The Road, he continuously stresses the point of how important seat belts are in saving lives in cars. He was determined to make it a law to have seat belts put in cars, and I think that he is absolutely correct in this assertion. Seat belts are absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of the driver and other passengers in the car. Although seat belt usage was not mandatory when he wrote his book, he strongly encouraged all people to use them. Iacocca is really knowledgeable about the car industry and knew that seat belts were the key to saving lives, even though it took awhile for this law to come about. He also had great insight into the Japanese threat to American automakers. He talks about the need for America to protect its market from the Japanese, so that they don’t take away from the American market share. I really enjoyed how the book comes full circle when Iacocca tied it all together with the metaphor Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I have learned a lot from reading this book and it still shocks me as to how inspirational Iacocca is. This book has had a great impact on me and made me more educated about the business world and more specifically, the automobile industry.

  50. Cem Erbug

    Iacocca’s autobiography is definitely the most interesting one I’ve ever read. From the beginning to the end, I’ve read the book with excitement. In my previous post, I mentioned until the Chrysler story. When people did not believe in saving the Chrysler, he made the government believe in him, and got the necessary loans to save this huge company while it was in the deepest swamp. Even the newspapers said “put it out of its misery”, however, he did not accept the bankruptcy as an option. His determinacy and problem solving skills are definitely something to be applauded. That is why a lot of people wanted him to run for the presidency after his huge success in Chrysler. Even though he hated to be appeared in the TV, he sacrificed his rules to save this huge company, and by doing so, he saved millions from being unemployed. I think it was interesting that he experienced and understood the power of TV, while he was trying to save the company. I think this book was definitely worth to read.

  51. Caner Camci

    I just finished the book this week. I think that book is kind of management lecture book for students because it shows the fluctuated life of the business world which we should take it as an example whenever we experiences similar crisis in our life. If we think of the reason that provided that success to Iacocca, the most important reason in this book would be Iacocca’s family life and his relationship with his father. He had been a kind of first teacher for him and taught the most valuable issues. On the other hand he was kind of lucky because in his college years, due to the war, he gathered a good education in classes that have a few students. He was lucky in college years however he was unlucky in his business life and becoming successful in every phase of that life is a talent I guess. For instance although he was threatened by his boss Henry he tries to achieve something and becomes successful in Ford, after that although he experiences a bad impact such as losing his job, he again tries to prove his talent by saving Chrysler from a real bankrupt risk. To sum up, I think this book is a good way for every management students to understand the real business life.

  52. Clarissa A. Michel

    I thought Iacocca’s autobiography was a very helpful book as a business student, because a lot of the issues addressed are very relate-able to business studies. I think he genuinely highlighted the instability within the business world, and therefore, the instability of a “businessman’s/woman’s” work.

    Iacocca’s autobiography was specifically interesting when he first describes his training at Ford. Although the program was intended to foster growth in engineering, Iacocca did mention that it was highly disorganized. The fact that the program which was intended, I suppose to some extent, to encourage creativity and/or innovation, was hindered by the disorganization between the organization itself and its “administrators.”

    Overall, I would recommend this book to any interested management student, as it accurately depicts the “highs and lows” of the business world.

  53. Elena Patch

    After finishing the Iacocca autobiography and writing my book report I have realized how much I enjoyed this book. Not only was it actually an interesting book about business, but I think that I have learned from it and will use Iacocca’s advice in the real world. I think this is the perfect book for global management students because it shows how we can implement the concepts and ideas that we learn about in class into the business world after college. I became completely captivated by this book and could not stop reading at some points. The way that Iacocca got the government to grant him the loan guarantees, in addition to making everyone he worked with to believe in him was fascinating to me. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to other business students.

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