3/18/14: By and About Leaders

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I think that one of the best ways to learn leadership isn’t studying “leadership” at all. Instead, study individual leaders in their natural habitat and decide what they do that you want to try. Articles by and about leaders and interviews with them are mini-case studies that show you an actual leader in a real situation.

That’s why, every week, I bring you a selection of post about individual leaders. This week I’m pointing you to posts by and about Jeff Immelt, Avinoam Nowogrodski, Jaspal Bindra, Shawn Jenkins, and Katrina Lake.

From Chief Executive: GE CEO Jeff Immelt on the Future of GE-and of American Manufacturing

“Not long ago, materials were cheap and labor was expensive. Today, the reverse is true, which is why it makes sense to re-shore production in many sectors. But more importantly, the product is increasingly part of the process, driving more companies to embed their know-how and innovativeness with the product itself, says GE CEO Jeff Immelt. That and the prospect of cheaper energy due to the fracking revolution will boost manufacturing in America.”

From the NY Times: Avinoam Nowogrodski of Clarizen, on the Rewards of Listening

“This interview with Avinoam Nowogrodski, the chief executive of Clarizen, a work management software company, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.”

From BCG Perspectives: Standard Chartered’s Jaspal Bindra on the Face of Complexity

“At the intersection of this complex region and complex industry sits Jaspal Bindra, the group executive director and chief executive officer, Asia, of Standard Chartered Bank. His answer to this complexity is not even-more complex solutions but rather a return to tried-and-true management practices: strong leadership and alignment throughout the organization, consistent and simple communication, and a relentless focus on business fundamentals. Bindra also believes in the power of one-on-one conversation to get to the heart of important issues facing Standard Chartered.”

From the NY Times: Shawn Jenkins of Benefitfocus: A C.E.O. Is Like a Flight Instructor

“The chief executive of a benefits technology company says good leaders let employees learn by experience. ‘I’ve got to be willing to let you fail a pretty good amount, almost to the point of danger,’ he says.”

From the Mercury News: Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake, on melding fashion and technology

“You’re a busy woman who doesn’t have time to shop for clothes. But what if a stylist mailed you five pieces of clothing, specifically chosen for you, and you bought what you liked and mailed the rest back in a prepaid envelope? That’s the business model behind Stitch Fix, a San Francisco-based startup that is equal parts technology and retail and has largely grown by word of mouth from women who love the service.”

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