By and About Leaders: 7/7/15

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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 Brian Chesky, Jake Wobbrock, Josh Becker, Judy John, and CEOs with military experience.

From Leigh Gallagher: The education of Airbnb’s Brian Chesky

“How the home-sharing site’s co-founder hacked leadership and taught himself to be a world-class CEO.”

From Adam Bryant: Jake Wobbrock of AnswerDash: Lead With Strengths, and Weaknesses

“My father would say that in life, a lot of people want to be a hero. But there’s no genuine opportunity to be a hero without the opportunity to be a goat, too. So if you’re on the free throw line at the end of the basketball game with one second left and two shots to win the game, you can be the hero, but it comes with the chance of being the goat. The point is not to fear being the goat because if you shy from that, you’ll never be the hero.”

From Erika Brown Ekiel: Josh Becker: “You Have to Keep Trying Until You Find the Big Opportunity”

“The founder of Lex Machina discusses integrity, flexibility, and the importance of delegation.”

From Susan Krashinsky: Leo Burnett Toronto CEO Judy John takes on the advertising world ‘like a girl

“Judy John runs her agency like a girl. If that seems like an insult, then you’ve grasped the concept that has led Leo Burnett Toronto’s chief executive officer to her biggest creative success in an already lauded advertising career. In the past year, the campaign for Procter & Gamble’s feminine care brand Always, ‘Like a Girl,’ has attracted more than 85 million views online, by challenging that phrase’s derogatory connotations. Why can’t doing something ‘like a girl’ mean strong, competent, and self-possessed, rather than weak and inept? For Ms. John, running an agency like a girl means imposing as much or more creative rigour as any of her peers, and collecting a sizable hoard of industry prizes along the way.”

From Syracuse Online Business: CEOs with Military Experience

“Those who have served in the military understand what it takes to be organized, alert, calm, and decisive under pressure—traits that produce successful and effective leaders. In fact, more than 8 percent of chief executives of S&P 500 companies have military experience, with an average tenure of seven-plus years (compared to four and a half years for CEOs with no military experience).”

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