Bill Ford on Leading with Compassion and Intention

Posted 03.04.2013

This week, I’m starting a new feature on this blog called Mindful Mondays. I’ll have more to say about it in a video I’ll post soon, but the short explanation for now is to feature leaders and thinkers who have things to say about mindful leadership along with practices and tools you can use to be a more mindful leader yourself.

In this first installment of Mindful Mondays, I’m sharing a video of an interview between Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford and his mentor and friend, author Jack Kornfield. I had the privilege of being in the audience when the conversation took place a couple of weeks ago at a conference called Wisdom 2.0.

In the conversation, Ford talks about how he has worked over the years to bring compassion and intention to his work as a leader of a company that, when he ascended to an executive role, was fighting for its survival. He also shares his vision of how, as a committed environmentalist, he sees the role of a company like Ford in creating an environmentally sustainable model of mobility for the future.

As I watched the interview live, I found myself thinking of how being born as Bill Ford would be both a blessing and a curse. It was inspiring to listen to Ford talk about how he’s approached his life and work and how he’s leveraged his role to make a difference.

Some viewing tips for you, if you’re pressed for time. Watch the first ten minutes (which will likely hook you into watching the rest of the interview). For a fascinating conversation on the pros and cons of being a top executive and how to stay connected with the people doing the work, be sure to watch the five to six minute segment that starts around the 22 minute mark.

Two questions for you in conclusion today:

1.     What did you find interesting or inspiring in the Bill Ford interview?

2.     What leadership challenges or opportunities would you like to see addressed in future installments of Mindful Mondays?