By and About Leaders: 11/25/14

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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 pieces by and about Harland Stonecipher, Paul Rollinson, John McDonald, Lisa Kornstein, and Alastair Mitchell.

From Douglas Martin: Harland Stonecipher, Insurance Pioneer, Dies at 76

“Mr. Stonecipher, an insurance salesman, started Pre-Paid Legal Services after his difficulties with legal costs from an auto accident.”

From Eric Reguly: For Kinross CEO, it’s ‘situation normal’ in Russia

“When you buy a share in Canada’s Kinross Gold Corp., you are not just betting on gold prices; you are betting on the outcome of the great geopolitical standoff between the West and Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which may or many not evolve into a new Cold War.”

From the Indianapolis Star: CloudOne’s John McDonald shares tips on startups

“Under the leadership of John McDonald, CloudOne is the world’s first company to offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Virtual Private Cloud delivery of IBM software products.”

From Hilary Burns: Lisa Kornstein has her eyes set on making Scout & Molly’s a national fashion brand

“Kornstein is the founder of Scout & Molly’s, a Raleigh, N.C.-based fashion boutique that just started franchising. She started her company when she was 26 years old with no formal experience in fashion. Since then she’s grown the boutique into a profitable business with the goal of creating a national brand. Along the way, Kornstein dealt with hurdles familiar to many entrepreneurs — marketing, location, buying — but she also suffered from multiple sclerosis, an illness she was diagnosed with in 2008. But she refused to let that stop her. And now she has her eyes set on having 100 Scout & Molly’s stores around the country in five years.”

From Adam Bryant: Alastair Mitchell, on Running With Your Dreams

“I learned a lot as a kid from my grandfather, who was an entrepreneur in construction. The Internet is considered the miracle thing now, but back in the ’50s and ’60s, concrete was one of the miracle things. He built concrete bridges, and all his sons went into the business. And he took the company public. I remember being 5 or 6 years old and he gave me shares in the company. I just thought that was very cool and very inspiring.”

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