College students packed an auditorium on the
He passed along sage advice … from his parents. "One thing I learned from (them) was that it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice," he told 425 students in
People skills and aptitude for teamwork are critical for students as they prepare to enter the workforce, he said. "Be terrific at the skill you're doing right now, be open to the possibility of expanding those skills, and then just enhance and learn and develop your working-together skills," Mulally said. "Be true to yourself and your values … and be accountable for actually getting things done."
That simple but solid counsel has served Mulally well. As an aerospace engineer and executive at
Arriving at Ford in 2006, Mulally, 68, helped steer the automaker through a restructuring and led it through the Great Recession while its
Mulally touched on that issue and many others, including globalization and in-vehicle technology, during the 16th USA TODAY CEO Forum, held
At the question-and-answer session, Mulally was asked what would persuade him to leave Ford for
"Congratulations. They are a great company," he said. "With respect to
Then he invoked another bit of parental advice: to always be open to possibilities. "I never really thought I would leave Ford," he said, just as he hadn't planned to leave
When he got to Ford, Mulally did a reality check on where the carmaker was then -- a philosophy that students could apply to their own plans, he said. "The most important thing is to simultaneously deal with reality -- really the way it is, not the way you wished it could be or you hoped it could be," he said. "But also have a vision about where you want to go."
He sold the Jaguar and Land Rover brands in 2008,
Most Popular Stories
- Hezbollah Chief's Assassination Claimed by Sunni Group
- Allstate Seeks to Invest in Minority Firms
- SpaceX's Satellite Launch Is 'Game-Changer'
- Latin Music Conference Turns 25
- U.S. Growth Stayed Steady During Shutdown, Fed Says
- Newtown Massacre Heard on 911 Recordings
- Climate Change Early Warning System Urged
- Guardian Pressured to Stop NSA Stories: Editor
- New Home Sales Shoot up 25 Percent in October
- Reid Confident Congress to Pass Immigration Bill