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 Steve Jobs, Gordon Bethune, Alexandre Ricard, Cathy Engelbert, and Leila Velez.
“Genius alone didn’t bring Apple back. It took management chops.”
“Now retired, Bethune is credited with resurrecting Continental Airlines, the flagging carrier he led from 1994 to 2004 that has since been acquired by United Airlines. Perennially ranked last among major airlines in customer satisfaction, Continental was losing hundreds of millions of dollars each year and fighting insolvency. Bethune, who was promoted from COO to CEO less than a year after he joined the company, successfully transformed the beleaguered airline into a profitable and respected industry leader.”
“Alexandre Ricard has spent the months leading up to his succession touting his strategy at Pernod Ricard: a focus on accelerated innovation.”
“When Cathy Engelbert started at Deloitte nearly 30 years ago, she was hard-pressed to find many female mentors among its top leadership ranks. Only 7 percent of Deloitte’s partners and principals were women at the time, a statistic that prompted the accounting firm to launch a major initiative several years later, in 1993, aimed at boosting its retention and advancement of women.”
“Midway through lunch with Leila Velez, she mentions that in 2005 she flew to Miami with the leadership team from her hair-care products company for a crucial meeting. They went two days early, she told me, so they could visit Disney World – and I laughed: Brazilians, I have learned, adore Disney.”