By and About Leaders: 4/12/16

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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 Jennifer Febre Boase, Katherine Manuel, George Akerlof, Jeff Bezos, and Tom Coughlin.

From Jim McLauchlin: Jennifer Febre Boase is brewing up beer and career in Van Nuys

“Jennifer Febre Boase took up a new hobby in 2003 — playing the bagpipes. Her piper friends liked beer, and tours of local breweries led Boase to the notion that she should jump into the business herself. So she sold the house, cashed in the IRA and in 2012 founded MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. Boase, 52, set up operations in tragically unhip Van Nuys. But the MacLeod tasting room has become a rallying point for the community with a friendly vibe and clientele that’s way more tow-truck driver than hipster.”

From Mary Johnson: Thomson Reuters and the push for innovation

“At the end of 2013, there was a pronouncement at Thomson Reuters: The 100-year-old media corporation was no longer going to rely on growth through acquisition. That was a big deal for a company that had made more than 300 acquisitions in the preceding seven or eight years alone. Revenue growth was strong — the company brought in $12.6 billion in 2014 — but the costs associated with all those acquisitions were proving to be too high. The solution? Growth through innovation. Here’s where Katherine Manuel, Thomson Reuters’ SVP of innovation, comes in.”

From Barrie McKenna: Why ‘Mr. Yellen’ wants to protect you from yourself

“George Akerlof examines the roles sociology, anthropology, and psychology play in financial decision making. But as the husband of Fed chair Janet Yellen, he makes sure he treads carefully.”

From Jena McGregor: Why Jeff Bezos says Amazon is ‘the best place in the world to fail’

“It may not be Warren Buffett’s eagerly anticipated letter to shareholders, but chief executive Jeff Bezos’s annual investor missive has become known for offering its own yearly insights into how he runs the online retail giant.”

From James R. Hagerty and Sarah Nassauer: Tom Coughlin Was Seen as Champion of Wal-Mart’s Rank and File: 1949-2016

“After rising to vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Tom Coughlin ended his 27-year career at the retailer in disgrace and pleaded guilty in 2006 to misusing company funds to pay for such things as hunting expenses and parts for his truck. Yet Mr. Coughlin retained legions of admirers and friends inside the company and out.”

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