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Robert Lutz

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During his career as one of the most effective executives in automotive history, former Chrysler Corp. Vice Chairman Robert Lutz acquired a wealth of unconventional wisdom that is applicable to most organizations. Bold, confident but self-deprecating, Lutz describes himself as “often wrong but never in doubt.” He says his management theories spring from “deeply held but unprovable beliefs on how to lead and run a business.”

The proof of Lutz’s beliefs is in his performance. After rising to the rank of captain as a Marine aviator and earning two degrees with high honors at Berkeley, he took on significant management challenges at General Motors, Ford and BMW. He then became a principal architect of Chrysler’s second recovery from near-extinction. He made the cover of Forbes, which named Chrysler “Company of Year” in 1997 and christened Lutz “the most eloquent speaker in the industry.” He was selected “Man of the Year” by both Automobile and Chilton’s Automotive Industries magazines. Peter Brown wrote in Automotive News that auto industry historians may cast Lutz as “the hero” of the latter 20th Century, “the Winston Churchill of the age.”

In his new book, Guts: The 7 Laws of Business That Made Chrysler the World’s Hottest Car Company (John Wiley & Sons), Lutz outlines what he calls his “Immutable Laws”:

The Customer Is Not Always Right The Primary Purpose of Business Is Not “To Make Money” When Everyone Else Is Doing it DON’T! Too Much Quality Can Ruin You Financial Controls Are Bad! Disruptive People Are An Asset Teamwork Isn’t Always Good

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