By and About Leaders: 2/24/15

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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 Jessica Harthcock, Mark Polson, Doug McMillon, Darren Throop, and Lew Cirne.

From Caroline McMillan Portillo: An accident, paralysis, then an idea: How this entrepreneur created the OpenTable of health care

“Jessica Harthcock knew it was bad when her body went numb. She was stunned and couldn’t speak. But she’d heard the crunch.”

From Julie Anixter: Mark Polson, Creativity and Estee Lauder

“We love it when we meet people who are boundary spanners — people who play in and across many aspects of innovation and commercialization, across functions and geographies, and help drive success. Mark Polson, Estee Lauder’s VP Creativity and Business is one of those people. He has a global role developing creativity as competence in a powerful house of brands, Estee Lauder. Here’s a glimpse, from our recent conversation, into what that looks like.”

From Jena McGregor: The Wal-Mart CEO who’s giving raises to 500,000 workers

“On his first day of work at Wal-Mart, Doug McMillon reportedly rear-ended his boss’s car. Luckily for him, the incident, when he was just 17 and starting a job at a Wal-Mart distribution center, wasn’t an ill portent for his career there.”

From Simon Houpt: How the CEO of Canada’s eOne built a global entertainment giant

“Darren Throop would like you to know that he has a cool leather jacket, even if he’s not wearing it today.”

From Adam Bryant: Lew Cirne of New Relic: Six Chairs for an Ideal Meeting

“The mistake I made as a first-time C.E.O. was that I wanted everyone to like me. But you can’t get very far as a leader without making tough decisions that some people disagree with. I still care about people’s opinion of me, but I care more about the success of the organization as a whole.”

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