He had been CEO for seven years. There was no hiding from the results. During his tenure, revenues fell by 14%, unit sales by 8%, and market share by 9%. A national newspaper even wrote an article about what he had done to the company.
And everyone applauded.
Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, was heralded as a success story among CEOs of U.S. auto manufacturers. Because despite the dramatic declines in key results measures, during the same period Ford went from an annual loss of $12.6B to a profit of $7.2B. And share price increased by 90%. Mulally’s strategic focus was to create a much more profitable Ford, which meant becoming a smaller company. He succeeded.
What is your overarching strategic focus? What must be done to achieve it? What are the consequences? Don’t assume all growth is good or that negative growth is bad.
Never confuse results with strategic results.