Business Leader – Joe Hinrichs, GVP, Ford Motor Company

AWAF held a joint event this week with the Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit. The audience had the pleasure of hearing Joe Hinrichs, Group Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Ford Motor Company speak on leadership. Joe spoke of his own career path and his current responsibilities of overseeing Ford’s 105 assembly, stamping and prowetrain plants worldwide. He reports to Alan Mulally, President and CEO in his global role and Mark Fields, EVP and President of Americas for his North American role.

Joe Hinrichs“Inspiring bosses bring out the best in people” was one to the many statements Joe made that has stuck with me. He spoke of the need for alignment at the top for a clear vision and how every interaction with leaders and employees must end in actions to move forward to the common goal. With the tremendous challenges Ford is facing, Joe shared how he had to be totally honest in his approach. He strives to strip conversations down to facts, to talk to the employees, look them in the eye, be honest and listen.

As I listened to him, I was so engrossed in his messages, I did not get his comments verbatim but here is how I remember him sharing his leadership philosophy… Be a leader they can trust, play with confidence, play to win…

I agreed whole heartedly when Joe said “Leadership is one of our scarcest resources… Be the leader you are capable of being.” Knowing the daily challenges the automotive industry and especially Ford is dealing with I do not envy Joe and the responsibility he has. I left inspired by his words and confident that Ford has a great leader on their executive team.

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