By and About Leaders: 12/16/14

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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 Travis Dale, Matt Ehrie, Umberto Angeloni, David Carr, and Sally Smith.

From Jonathan McFadden: Former chef carves a cool niche with Charlotte-based Artisan Ice Sculptures

“The former chef-turned-ice sculptor spends his days inside a giant walk-in freezer, cutting and chiseling chunks of ice, carving them into flower vases, wine glasses and even once a 4-foot-tall replica of a train surrounded by 300 martini glasses.”

From Patrick May: Q&A: Talking retail with Matt Ehrie, Westfield Valley Fair GM

“It all started with a broom and a floor that needed sweeping. Matt Ehrie worked as a kid in his dad’s clothing store in Ashland, Kentucky, the youthful progeny of mom-and-pop America. He swept up messes, did basic maintenance, tracked inventory in the backroom. Like his father, a veteran of JCPenney, the young man clearly had retail in his veins.”

From Richard Nalley: Caruso’s Umberto Angeloni: Fashion’s Comeback King

“Umberto Angeloni wants you to touch everything–to feel the woolly heft of a Prince of Wales check jacket, the creamy silkiness of the super 180s. It is late November, two days before his Caruso store, the first in the world, will open on 58th Street off Madison Avenue in New York City. The former gallery space is a sprawling, curated showcase for Caruso’s haute Italian tailoring, with 11,000 square feet, 15-foot ceilings, airy, exaggerated distances between displays and a vivid aura of understated, cosmopolitan wealth.”

From James Bradshaw: David Carr: All the views he’s fit to print

“This is the first time I’ve met David Carr, the weathered and worn, witty and sometimes caustic media critic for The New York Times. But he greets me like an old pal as he slides into a corner table at Casa Nonna, an elegant Italian joint a couple of blocks from the Times where he’s welcomed as a regular.”

Wally’s Comment: Most of the people I pick to feature in this series are leaders of organizations. David Carr is an exception that way, as he is in other ways. I included his because he writes about many of the forces and events that shape the world that leaders work in with insight and irreverence.

From Adam Bryant: Sally Smith of Buffalo Wild Wings, on Patience in Hiring

“You have to be really clear about what you want and what your expectations are. When you’re clear and everybody understands them, you have a much better chance of success than if you say, ‘Just do it.’ It’s a great slogan, but you’ve got to know what it is that you’re just doing.”

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