Mary Barra - Crisis Manager of the Year 2014

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2014 was quite an year for General Motors, thanks to the many, many recalls. The recalls along with other things, resulted in what is now said to be the most trying year in the carmaker's history. The bankruptcy GM faced a few years back is perhaps the only challenge that comes close to explaining what the company faced in 2014. Despite all that was thrown it's way last year, General Motors handled it exceptionally well and with dignity to go along with it. It leads you to think about the leadership, the one that sailed the auto giant through the year that 2014 was.

Mary Barra took the throne at General Motors in January,2014 and little did she know about the year that lay ahead of her. Barra tided GM through, like I said before, what was the most challenging time in the company's 106-year long existence. That feat included not only appearing in front of the Congress time and time again, but also a front-row ticket to a quagmire of acrimony and criticism.

The recall was no passing incident; it included millions of vehicles and about a dozen deaths due/ related to a faulty ignition switch. The ignition-switch problems had been linked to fatalities that could have been avoided if the company had responded earlier to the problem. The truth was, it had waited 11 years to initiate a recall of cars with ignition-switch problems. With the company being hauled over the coals, Barra came out unscathed to say the least; while the company was being chastised, Barra received praise.

How does somebody in her position surface with her credibility unblemished? The answer is rather surprising; all it took was honesty, humility, and a sincere yearning to resolve the mistakes that led to the situation. Her determination to do right by people instead of just indulging in damage control led Fortune to hail Barra as the 'Crisis Manager of the Year'.

Barra endeavoured to make things right, and never lost sight of the people affected by the fault in their cars. Consequently, she not only saved a company from self-destructing, but also earned the many accolades coming her way.

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