Vera sale Dreamer and sales Achiever. I once heard a sound biography of a great man named Lee Iacocca. Lee Iacocca is one of America’s premiere business leaders of all time. Why? Was he lucky? Of course we know the answer to these questions is no. Lee Iacocca is a champion who had the courage to stare adversity in the face until victory was secured.
Lee grew up during the Great Depression in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At fifteen, Lee caught a deadly disease, rheumatic fever. Since doctors with lots of rest, Lee felt he had a tremendous amount of time on their hands. To pass the time, Lee began to read books and he developed a passion for excellence. This is good Lee would soon discover would pay well in his future.
After Lee had graduated high school, he attended a strong engineering school. He loved it. It was a disciplined atmosphere in which Lee thrived.
At university his years, Lee drove a 1938 Ford automobile. It was a car that had seen better days. Lee joked with his friends, “These guys need me. Anyone who builds a car this bad can use a little help.”
Lee received a masters degree from Princeton in 1946 and went much training Ford program. This program covered all type of car from start to finish.
After a short time, Lee discovered his love for the people and not machines. He decided to start over in a low sales position at the district office Ford, Pennsylvania. Lee enthusiasm shot him up the ranks in a hurry. Lee learned the fine art of listening. He felt that one must compromise to hack out a solution. Great listeners were a great support for Lee in all areas of his life from the personal to the professional. The key was to listen and really hear what people were saying even though he disagreed with them.
In 1956, sales of the Ford Motor Company was dismal and Lee district in Philadelphia was the poorest. But Lee stubbornly seeking a positive light on the end of the tunnel. He felt light idea. Lee came up with a plan for long-term financing. It was a huge success. It was a 36-month payment plan $ 56 per month. The plan was baptized 56 ($) to 56 (1956). Sales of department went from worst in the nation for number one in a month’s time. Ford was so impressed that they made the idea Lee land plan.
Lee was offered a job at the company headquarters and within four years he was vice president and general manager of Ford Division. Lee then helped develop a car called “the Mustang.” It was hard to sell but Lee and his team pushed through and on Friday, April 17, 1964, the Mustang hit the market. The Mustang was a huge success! In the first two years, Mustang higher profits over one billion dollars. Lee became a national hero. He and Mustang appeared on the covers of both time and Newsweek.
On December 10, 1970 45-year-old Lee Iacocca became president of Ford Motor Company. This was an exciting time for the Iacocca family. Little did they know that less than eight years in the future, Lee was out of work.
13. July 1978 insecure second grandson of the founder of the company, with the same name Henry Ford, fired Lee. The firing came as a complete surprise and without visible reason. To this day, Lee does not know why he was fired. The humiliation for Lee was overwhelming. Lee said the hardest part for him was a shame that he felt for his family. He also felt very abandoned. Not one of his friends from Ford dropped a note or gave him a call. Lee did not understand it.
It did not take long for the offers to pour in. Lee was a great leader and many, many companies wanted him. But the only industry Lee was interested in the vehicles. It was in his blood.
Chrysler Corporation was in bad shape and they wanted Lee. Lee took the challenge and immediately set about the massive structure of the company. He did it quickly and efficiently.
At this time, the nation was in a great recession that cut business in half. This made the work much harder than it already was but as Dr. Robert Schuller has said Lee “tough times never last, but tough people do.” Lee did exactly that. He’s tough!
He went to the United States government and asked them for a loan of one billion two hundred million dollars. Lee convinced Congress to borrow his. He told them that if Chrysler were to fail American taxpayers would have to pay $ 2700000000 in taxes to meet Chrysler pensions. Lee told them they could either lend him $ 1200000000 now hoping that he paid it back or pay $ 2700000000 later without refund. The vote in parliament was a landslide in favor of Chrysler.
Next, Lee went to the company. Employees would have to be convinced to take wage cuts. Lee shocked everyone when he cut his own pay just one dollar a year. Now there is a master example! Chrysler had to gain the trust of the public. Lee organized an ad campaign to achieve just that. It worked! Lee promised the consumer excellence and that’s what they got. Dear who brought Chrysler back was called “K car.” It was a phenomenal success. Chrysler was back!
July 13, 1983, Chrysler shocked the nation when they pay back a loan from the government of the seven years EARLY! WOW! Chrysler is strong because the championship lead man named Lee Iacocca.
You are the sales champion too. BE A Dreamer and AN Achiever! Will it be tough times? Yes! Will it be a mistake? Yes! But if you continue to dream and strive to sales figures, then as Lee dreams will come true. Just follow the words of Walt Disney when he said: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”