By and About Leaders: 7/12/16

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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 Tomas Gorny, Denise Morrison, Danielle Moss Lee, Kevin Plank, and Jack Taylor.

From Jeff Boss: Inspiring Tips from Tomas Gorny About Making Leadership Work

“Without exceptional leadership, no company will bridge the gap from excellent to exceptional, which is Tomas Gorny, CEO of Nextiva, an award-winning cloud business, cites leadership as the most important behavior that any CEO, any entrepreneur or individual can display.”

From Jane M. Von Bergen: Denise Morrison on Campell’s freshest mission

“The continuing conversation on Campbell Soup Co. turns on how this classic food company, built on canned condensed soup, can respond to the trend toward fresh and organic.”

From Adam Bryant: Danielle Moss Lee: Don’t Give Difficult Employees a Pass

“As I was growing up, my mother always had leadership roles in her jobs, and she often took me to work. So it just seemed natural for me, after seeing how she interacted with her team, and how compassionate she was. It just seemed like that’s what you do.”

From Rachel Monroe: Under Armour’s Quest to Dethrone Nike and Jump-Start Baltimore

“Kevin Plank is out to build the ‘baddest brand on the planet.’ Here’s where the city fits in.”

From Robert D. Hershey Jr.: Jack Taylor, Founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Dies at 94

“Mr. Taylor and an assistant set up an office walled off from the dealership’s noisy service bays and called it Executive Leasing. It had only seven cars, and Mr. Taylor would let the phone ring a few extra times so that potential customers would think business was brisk. Soon, it would be. When Mr. Taylor died on Saturday in St. Louis at 94, he presided over an unconventional automotive industry colossus, Enterprise Holdings, a family-owned business that since 2007 has encompassed the Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands, as well as Enterprise Rent-A-Car and other interests. Enterprise, identified by its trademark green and white ‘e’ logo and the slogan ‘We’ll Pick You Up,’ said it had $19.4 billion in revenue in 2015 and more than 1.7 million vehicles, double the size of Hertz or Avis, its major American rivals. With a retail automotive division, it is also the largest buyer and seller of cars and trucks in the world.”

Wally’s Comment: I had the opportunity to write an in-depth piece on Jack Taylor and Enterprise. Ever since I did that, Jack Taylor has been my mental model of what it means to be a member of “The Greatest Generation.” I am in awe of his mix of competence, confidence, and humility.

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