By and About Leaders: 6/28/16

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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 Niklas Östberg, Sir Martin Sorrell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marvin Ellison, and James Marcotuli.

From the McKinsey Quarterly: Ordering in with a ‘unicorn’

“Niklas Östberg, an energetic 35-year-old Swede, is the CEO and cofounder of Delivery Hero. Based in Berlin and financed with venture-capital money, the company is built around an online platform that matches restaurants with hungry customers. Delivery Hero has grown to operate today in 33 markets across five continents, processing 14 million takeout orders each month and offering customers recommendations, as well as peer reviews of restaurants.”

From Deborah Bothun and Daniel Gross: Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP on Coming Together

“The firm’s CEO explains how the global agency is deploying its resources to connect effectively with clients and consumers across industry and geographic borders.”

From Clare O’Connor: Sarah Jessica Parker On Life In The Shoe Biz

“Sex and the City protagonist Carrie Bradshaw’s obsession with designer shoes helped catapult the likes of Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin from the rarefied 2nd floor at Bergdorf’s onto the wish-lists of women and girls worldwide. Why, then, did it take Carrie Bradshaw herself — or at least her real-world alter ego, actress Sarah Jessica Parker — more than a decade to cash in on a luxury retail category she helped revive?”

From Robin Lewis: Marvin Ellison: “The Stores Guy,” A Better Mousetrap for CEOs?

“I was fortunate enough to steal an hour of Marvin Ellison’s time last week to be able to drill down a little further into his strategic thinking, now that almost a year has passed under his role as CEO of JC Penney. Having credited him with getting the business on the runway, ready for takeoff, ‘I wanted to understand how his mind works. Is he just a store operator, given his tenure as EVP of stores at Home Depot? If he lacks experience as a merchant, does it really matter? Is he an ‘in the weeds guy,’ more tactically oriented than strategic? Is he a ‘short-termer,’ pushing for quarterly results, sacrificing longer- term strategies for strengthening the brand and sustaining profitable growth?”

From John B. Snow: An Interview With Remington CEO James Marcotuli

“James ‘Marco’ Marcotuli has embarked on a journey that has taken him from a small town in Western Pennsylvania, where he worked in his family’s business, to the top job at Remington, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. We caught up with the 57-year-old during a break in his busy schedule in order to ask about his plans for the company, which has weathered tumultuous change in recent years. Marco has plotted a course that focuses on building a foundation of solid business practices rather than making high-profile new-product announcements.”

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