By and About Leaders: 11/3/15

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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 Lesa France Kennedy, Dan Calista, Kris Duggan, David Littman, and John Sculley.

From Adam Bryant: Lesa France Kennedy of Nascar on Taking the Lead in a Family Business

“Ms. Kennedy, chief executive of the International Speedway Corporation and vice chairwoman of Nascar, knew that in order to climb the ranks, she’d have to earn ‘the invitation.’ (With video.)”

From Dan Calista: CEO’s Goal: Build the Happiest, Healthiest Company in Philly

“We call it our ‘rocky moment.’ In 2008, six years after I started Vynamic, the economic crisis hit. We lost 50 percent of our revenue within 60 days. We’re in the health-care industry management consulting business, and some of our long-standing clients decided not to renew projects in order to weather their own storms. Things were unsettled. I could only wonder if this experiment I had started was going to work.”

From Jenny Anderson: For the kids of this tech CEO, every day is a performance review

“Kris Duggan, CEO and co-founder of BetterWorks, created software to help companies set goals and track their progress towards meeting them. John Doerr, a billionaire venture capitalist who was an early backer of Google, invested $15 million in the company. BetterWorks’ clients include Disney, Schneider Electric, Kroger, and Aidan and Colin.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to the above two stories

From Alister & Paine: CEO Interview with the Founder of Littman Brands

“David Littman is a man of unbound energy, ambition and drive. As CEO and founder of the luxurious Hudson Valley Lighting and Littman Brands, David was born into a family full of inventors and entrepreneurs and carries on that passion today. His grandfather was a Brooklyn-based inventor in the ‘30s, and his entrepreneurial father was a big part of the vision that inspired David to start his own lighting brand when he was just twenty-three years old. Today, the Littman Brand family is comprised of six luxury brands with a pretty dynamic range of unique lighting products. We had a chance to catch up with this super exuberant, hard-working and hands-on CEO whose enthusiasm for the industry belies his nearly thirty-five years in the lighting business.”

From Wharton: John Sculley on Game-changing Strategies

“John Sculley earned a name for himself in the world of business leading Pepsi and Apple, but his ambitions encompass far more than the C-suite. A lifelong entrepreneur, he’s now working with several startups, but is most focused at this moment on pushing into the smartphone game with a company called Obi Worldphone — which is not, he assures us, trying to compete for customers with the signature product of the tech giant he once led.”

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