By and About Leaders: 4/5/16

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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 Jeff Bezos, Mary Lou Retton, Ed Catmull, Maurice Lévy, and Dottie Mattison.

From Adam Lashinsky: How Jeff Bezos Became a Power Beyond Amazon

“Amazon’s CEO has driven his company to all-consuming growth (and even, believe it or not, profits). Today, though, as he deepens his involvement in his media and space ventures, Bezos is becoming a power beyond Amazon. It has forced him to become an even better leader.”

From Jody Meacham: Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton on how she built a career after retiring at 18

“Mary Lou Retton retired, she says, ‘at the ripe old age of 18.’ That doesn’t happen to a tech worker in Silicon Valley, but it happens every four years to Olympic athletes who win their gold medal and then wonder what they’ll do with the 75 percent of their years left to live.”

From the McKinsey Quarterly: Staying one step ahead at Pixar: An interview with Ed Catmull

“The cofounder of the company that created the world’s first computer-animated feature film lays out a management philosophy for keeping Pixar innovative.”

From Susan Krashinsky: Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy: From IT guy to head of an advertising giant

“Maurice Lévy is reflecting on 50 years in the business, having said he will relinquish the reins of the world’s third-largest advertising agency holding company.”

From Adam Bryant: Dottie Mattison: Talk Less, but Ask ‘Why’ More

“It’s a simple point, but it’s very difficult to subordinate your value system and really meet people where they are, to understand what motivates them and how that is sometimes drastically different than what motivates you.”

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