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Enzo Ferrari Leadership Strategy

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 2444 words Published: 13th Jun 2017

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Enzo Ferrari was born in Moddena (Italy).He was Italian race car driver and entrepreneur. He founded the great motor racing team in history ‘The Scuderia Ferrari f1 team ‘and Ferrari car manufacturers .During the world war one Ferrari served in the Italian army and upon his return from the army he found that his family business collapsed. he then settled for mechanic job ,he left this job at 1920 to work for Alfa Romeo and also racing their cars. Ferrari had lot of success in local racing. Ferrari was manager of the Alfa Romeo car factory and also had a team of 40 drivers including him to participate in races. This was done under the banner of Alfa Romeo in the early days. Then on Ferrari started to get more grip on Alfa Romeo Company. When Alfa Romeo took more control of the racing Ferrari left Alfa to form his own racing team . First formula 1 race of Ferrari was in 1950. Ferrari is the only team in history of formula one to participate in every single championship. After their first victory in the British grand prix in 1951 what happened that is all history return in golden words .Car manufacturer whose every car enter the market is a success and a formula one which every driver want to drive at some point in their career. This is what Ferrari is. He died at age of 90 in 1988

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I have chosen Enzo Ferrari as my leader because I admire him on what he have achieved from being a mechanic in workshop to a leading car manufacturer . Whatever I do I do it with a passion . And the leader I have chosen was highly regarded for his passion for fast moving cars , racing, and above all success in his area of expertise ‘manufacturing cars’. He was determined and achieved the level of success he wanted to be in. He motivates me to achieve the impossible . So I didn’t had second thought in picking Enzo from my favourites for the position of leader profile that I am gone to work on for the leadership assignment.

Analysing the leader based on Leadership Theories

Trait Theory

Traits refer to the trend in personnel behaviour. Effectiveness of the leader can be valued based on the traits possessed by the leader .we get more information on traits when we keep constant eye on consistent pattern of behaviour. How people behave in weak situations also comes into account when referring to trait theory.

Enzo Ferrari analysed based on trait theory .

Enzo Ferrari is regarded as effective leader during his era. Ferrari possessed various traits. When considering all traits he had there are some traits worth mentioning here. Self confidence, trustworthiness, assertiveness, enthusiasm. Incidents which Ferrari showed immense self confidence were starting scuderia on 1929, serving as manager and driving high speed cars, his ability to put things together at bad times to ripe better results in future.

Self confidence is trait which all leaders have in their custody .so what made Ferrari a stand out in that. Self confidence is one thing that each motor sport racer have in their pocket .Because when you are speeding at 100 mph per hour in old times with no much protective gears in the cars you ought have some confidence to press the pedal even on sharp bends.

Ferrari also showed his self confidence while entered into formula one without much support or sponsorship. The confidence Enzo had is still seen in the Ferrari team evidently. Enzo Ferrari has transferred one of his trait to his team that is assertiveness. which Ferrari car manufacturer have and Ferrari formula one team always shows in the entire history of motorsport . This trait was seen in Ferrari either in selecting drivers , making strategic decisions ,resolving company issues etc . Enzo always valued trust . give and take policy was usually adopted in the case of trust by Enzo . Alfa Romeo ,and other partners of Ferrari sees Ferrari as a trust worthy person .Enzo Ferrari always created enthusiasm in the people who he deals with . As a person who is really enthusiastic about the formula 1 racing , he poured that enthusiasm into his workers and formula 1 drivers . The level of enthusiasm Scuderia Ferrari is showing now in motor sport was from their dear leader Enzo Ferrari .This is main reason why which Ferrari team is winning championship and hunger to go for more.

High energy and physical stamina helped Ferrari to participate in racing events apart from being the manger of scuderia.Ferrari was a reserved character , and usually not found of interviews .Enzo had all qualities in work related characteristics of a leader , when Alfa Romeo withdraw their entire support Ferrari fought against the obstacles and hardships through determination and desire to excel. His friends and technicians were sure that one Enzo is going to be great man . Enzo was practical and had responsibility in achieving the goals. Every time his decisions were not right , like once they lost a championship due to wrong selection of tyres by Ferrari .Winning racing and making unbeatable sports cars are resulted from team effects but Ferrari consider himself only accountable for all wrong moves and for success he made sure that credits usually goes to his team members.

Behavioural Theory

This approach says that anyone who adopts appropriate behaviour can be good leader. We usually consider two approaches ( autocratic and democratic) to analysis a leader.

Behavioural theory and Enzo Ferrari

In the early days itself sucedria Ferrari had policy of splitting the responsibility .Enzo Ferrari usually delegates the responsibility among the his crew . when Enzo was working under Alfa Romeo , Alfa used to share responsibities with Enzo like giving the control of racing team , positioning the strategies etc. Ferrari when started his own car manufacturing he used to share the authority to good and sound technicians to develop some best cars. Enzo also valued the comments of his mechanics and drivers ,This is also due to the fact that his profession also demanded him to be a democratic leader. He is not a person who is leading a country but a person who leads group of mechanics to produce world class sports cars . country can be run by a autocratic leader but a car company cannot . According to the workers of Ferrari car company Enzo Ferrari was charismatic and affectionate leader. Leadership style of Ferrari was a combination of boss centred and subordinate centred leadership.

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Applying Gardner’s roles on Ferrari ,he had goal to become world class car manufacturer and wanted his cars to won in formula 1 races , he managed and fixed values for the team . Ferrari served as racer for initial time and manged Alfa Romeo’s racing department. Ferrari was successful in achieving a workable unit with him Ferrari roped in some finest drivers like Fangio, Hill etc and got some really good mechanics from British car companies and Italian companies like Bugatti . Rene Dreyfus an ex Bugatti driver Says that he learned the business of motor racing from Ferrari . Ferrari was a great motivating factor for the team ,in the initial years Ferrari was a manger and racer used to attend races while other drivers are driving for scuderia .In last few years he didn’t attended much races ,he got information about the races over phone from his employees but this was not his workers and mechanics want to see him in the motor sport arena and in the paddock with them as motivational factor.Such was the effect of Enzo Ferrari on his team.Constant conversations and explanation happened between Ferrari and his racing team . He used to explain about the car to his formula one drivers because in this sport good understanding about the car is essential for the success.Also the conversation between mechanics and manager Enzo was crucial in developing some of finest formula 1 cars Ferrari has ever produced .Till death in 1988 Ferrari served as a symbol of Scuderia Ferrari motor sport . Ferrari named one their cars as ‘Enzo Ferrari’ in the remembrance of their great founder. The team Ferrari was represented by Enzo not only in the name but also in and out of the formula 1 field. As a leader of Ferrari motor racing team and car manufacturing Enzo always representative for his mechanics and drivers in the public . Although Ferrari was a reserved character and rarely gave interviews to media, his passion for the motor sport and love for cars made him the ideal representation of scuderia Ferrari . Enzo Ferrari was consistent but adaptable to change in situation , when Alfa Romeo wanted more control in racing Ferrari thought of starting own car manufacturing using all limited resources available and bringing in new talents to his team . During 1960’s Ferrari had financial crisis so he had talks with Fiat and got their support and over these years Ferrari team also followed the same tactics ,that is getting new support like shell, Pirelli etc as partners in formula 1 sport.

Enzo Ferrari in the Leadership context

Taking whole leadership context into account, there are certain things which are really applicable to Ferrari . There is nothing much to say on his traits and behaviours as there are already mentioned above. There weren’t much values that Ferrari used to put into his leadership style, nor much of an ethical approach. Ferrari is considered as a pure business man, although he love cars there is no sentimental relation with cars that is he was ready to sell old cars for scrap value if they are not working properly .In a way Ferrari used path goal theory to accomplish his vision. At that time face to face was reliable communication method although telephone was also there. When Ferrari started to not attending races his employees would convey the information about the races over the phone to Ferrari . Ferrari was a charismatic leader according to his friends and I also fee l the same . He was more of a transactional leader .This is evident from the strategy he adopted when there was a shortage of money, drivers will get the percentage of the winning money from the races . Drivers who have passion for motor racing work for fun and money , the fun they get from driving high speed cars and money from winning races ,so being a transactional leader Ferrari was able to employ some 40 drivers during 1940’s They won him races and he paid them well .

Enzo’s contribution to Ferrari company is what made him truly special . His vision was to make some unbeatable cars in the history of formula one and he and his crew was able to achieve it . Also the entire motorsport industry benefited from the advanced techniques introduced by Ferrari .Enzo Ferrari was job oriented than people oriented but still took a good care about his racing drivers. He used to remember the drivers who shed their life in the track with great pain and agony. Ferrari had structural frame of reference than human resources frame in gather information, make decisions, and exercise power. During the last years of his careers may be due the experiences he gathered, Ferrari turned into human resource frame of reference .

Power and influence

Power means the ability of the Ferrari to influence the people in his organization to bring desired outcomes . Influence in this context means how Ferrari was able to influence people in attitudes, actions etc .Ferrari had personal power He was an expert in the field of motor racing ,the knowledge he acquired during the days as manager of Alfa Romeo racing department, through his relation and experience with drivers and mechanics is what made him an expert in his area .So subordinates followed his ideas .Referent power are visible if leader is charismatic , Ferrari is regarded charismatic leader . This has effect on Ferrari formula one team even after 21 years of Enzo’s death .Reason is that Ferrari team is made up of passion and love for fast cars and racing .The influence Enzo had on his team in the early days was hunger for victory .This is still continuing even after his death through the never lasting thirst for victory in races for ferrari formula one team . The response to the type power Ferrari had was commitment from his workers .This commitment was really essential for building up of successful formula one team.


In the entire human history we come across many varieties of leader ,some truly great and some people want to forget from their memory . So what makes one a great leader. There is no single recipe answer for that. All the ingredients in right mixture makes a good dish same for leader also , effective traits, behaviour, influence on people, the way leader carry himself etc will result in evaluating him as a successful leader or not . Enzo Ferrari was a great business man and visionary but was he one of the greatest leader of all time ?, not really because he was the leader of a business empire, he has not transformed any individual to another level of potential or hasn’t done something exceptional for mankind. Then what makes Enzo Ferrari special, a man who started as a mechanic after the collapse of family business, went through all hardships, fought against all odds to build an empire, a truly amazing car company which glitters in the car industry world .Ferrari was able to convert his passion into reality. He was combination all effective traits for leader but didn’t had anything more than a limit, like everything in proportion, that made him stand out. More job oriented character invited some criticism from his friends in early days, but he didn’t changed his style. Being consistent that is what I liked about Ferrari. The stamina and self confidence from being a race driver helped him in his decision making. Life is like a chocolate box you don’t no what you going to get from it this is applicable for race driver. A race driver is not sure what will be the result at the end of the race he just push the pedal and hope for a win ,same was done by Ferrari he wanted to win in the races and in business his drivers won the races for him and his leadership style and strategies combined to form the success in business. From a simple life to a millionaire life the journey of Ferrari was as exciting as a formula one race from start to chequered flag. When we look back into the life history of Enzo Ferrari only thing he likes to convey is dreams will go in speed of f1 car but the control should be yours.


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