The Millionaire Next Door

Millionaires’ Success Factor #3: People Skills

Ford CEO Alan Mulally is the best business leader to come along since Lee Iacocca.  He was a featured speaker recently at The University of Georgia’s CEO Forum.  Part of his presentation was quoted in USA Today:

One thing I learned from [my parents] was that it is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice. . . .  . . .enhance and learn and develop your working together skills.

Mr. Mulally’s opinion of the importance of people skills is closely in line with those of other socioeconomic successful people.  In The Millionaire Mind, 94% of the 733 millionaires surveyed nationally [representative of the top 1% of wealth holders] indicated that “getting along with people” was an important factor in explaining their success.  The people skill dimension ranked 3rd overall out of 30 factors studied, just a point behind integrity and discipline.

Most successful people go out of their way to attract, motivate, appreciate, and nurture key advisors, suppliers and employees. The Millionaire Mind

Most economically successful people are leaders.  And to succeed in this role one must have empathy for the needs of others.  Especially today, technology can be a seductive force in convincing people that they don’t need others, that teamwork is no longer as important as it was in the past.  Just give me my tablet, my PowerPoint, etc.  However, the value of a firm handshake has never gone out of style, and it never will.

5 thoughts on “Millionaires’ Success Factor #3: People Skills”

  1. Funny you would highlight Alan Mulally. Today, Consumer Reports published its list of least reliable vehicles. Ford has five vehicles in the top top ten… or would that be the bottom ten? The least reliable car is the Ford C-Max Energi with the Escape (1.6L Ecoboost) hot on its heels.

    Idol worship is not all its cracked-up to be.

  2. Alan Mulally led Ford through extremely difficult times around 2008. If it were not for government bailouts, GM and Chrysler would have gone bankrupt, but not Ford. I love Consumer Reports magazine, but the quoted issue, is not representative of how well Ford has done in recent years. In fact, reading about Ford successes under Mulally in Consumer Reports around 2008 is what led me to make one of the best investments of my life….purchasing Ford shares at $4 per share. Thank you Mr. Mulally!

  3. Actually Ford would have gone bankrupt as well…along with Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc…because all of these companies’ suppliers are intermingled and would have all failed because each of them uses debt and they have to keep the product moving. They did a much better job than the others that is for sure, but I don’t [think] people realize how important that particular bailout was…just the tax revenue that was made by keeping these companies afloat long enough to recover more than paid for any bailout. I’m not saying fundamentally I agree because I don’t believe in debt, but this did help take a few years off the Great Recession.

  4. The best car I ever had was 98 Ford Explorer in terms of reliability. I had a Honda car (and motorcycle) many years ago. Also a Volkswagon. The Ford was a tank. They don’t have good resale value — although I don’t know what car does after 181k miles and 20 years age — but I could not justify expensive transmission work on anything that old.

  5. Pingback: The Household CFO: Success Factors & Leading Through A Crisis - The Millionaire Next Door

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