5/6/14: 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 Mark Josephson, Gregg Saretsky, Ron Kaplan, and Sheri Petras. There’s also a bonus: great graduation speeches.

From Adam Bryant: Mark Josephson of Bitly, on Leading With a Compass

“The chief executive of Bitly says that effective leadership means empowering individuals to make, and own, the decisions.”

From Teresa Novellino: Bitly CEO Mark Josephson leads by input not consensus

“There are some business leaders who believe in leading by consensus. Mark Josephson, the chief executive of chief executive of Bitly, is not one of them, but this is more empowering for employees than it might sound.”

Wally’s Comment: I rarely choose two articles about the same CEO for the same week’s picks. Teresa Novellino’s post about Mark Josephson starts from Adam Bryant’s, but adds some insight and perspective. I thought the two together were better than either one alone.

From Greg Keenan: WestJet CEO sets his sights on international skies

“During his 28 years in the airline business, Gregg Saretsky has lived through a crisis or two – or three. Fortunately, the chief executive officer of WestJet Airlines Ltd., has learned from them, notably the near-bankruptcy in the early 1990s of the perpetually troubled Canadian Airlines during which he and his colleagues at the airline banded together to keep it from going over the brink.”

From Adam Bryant: Ron Kaplan of Trex, on Making Judgments Instead of Decisions

“‘Decision-making usually is the dissection of facts to come to a conclusion,’ a C.E.O. says, but ‘coming to a judgment really has to do with the issues of luck, character and probability.'”

From Brent Snavely: CFI Group CEO: Better customer service can boost profits

“Sheri Petras didn’t start off her career aspiring to be CEO — it just sort of worked out that way.”


From CNBC: 12 of the best graduation speeches EVER

“From Steve Jobs to Stephen Colbert”

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