By and About Leaders: 6/16/15

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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 Mark Hurd, Jessica Alba, Ana Botín, R. Donahue Peebles, and Margaret Paddock.

From Adam Lashinsky: The redemption of Oracle’s Mark Hurd

“Less than five years after his humiliating fall from HP, he’s on top again. The tale of the comeback of a man … who denies he ever fell in the first place.”

From Clare O’Connor: Jessica Alba On Her Billion-Dollar Business Success

“She may be on the cover of the latest issue of Forbes magazine, but it took Jessica Alba a long time to feel comfortable identifying as an entrepreneur — and to stop overcompensating for the public’s misconceptions.”

From Jeannette Neumann: Santander’s Ana Botín Rethinks Father’s Legacy

“Since taking charge at Banco Santander SA, Ana Botín has overhauled the giant bank’s strategy and shaken up the executive team assembled by the man she calls ‘the former chairman.’ Her unnamed predecessor: her late father.”

From Adam Bryant: R. Donahue Peebles on Letting Employees Change Lanes

“I learned from watching my mother, and I learned from watching politics. It’s about getting people vested in the outcome of success. I also knew I didn’t need to take credit for everything. I was the chairman, so if the board did well, I was going to get credit for it. But I felt it was important to let other people get credit and recognition, and it gave them more of a sense of ownership in the goal.”

From Neal St. Anthony: U.S. Bank wealth management executive learned from early setbacks

“Margaret Paddock, who runs the Twin Cities private client wealth management business for U.S. Bank, learned early about financial management. Born in Poland, she moved to the Chicago area as an infant. Paddock’s father left when she was 13 and her sister was 11. Her mother took a low-pay retail position, and Paddock worked her way through high school and college as a bank teller. At age 53, Paddock’s mother was diagnosed with dementia and was fleeced by a financial scam artist who took her life savings of $30,000. She had to sell her home. Paddock, then the working mother of two children, brought her mother into her home and took over her affairs.”

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