By and About Leaders: 8/16/16

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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 Paula Kerger, Mike Lynch, Jim Whitehurst, Kevin Warren, and Randy Stocklin.

From Adam Bryant: Paula Kerger of PBS: Find the Courage to Take a Terrifying Leap

“I started out in pre-med, but then I hit organic chemistry, and that was the end of my designs on being a doctor. And so, without any real notion of what I wanted to do with my life, I switched to business. I also worked during college at a processing center for Visa and MasterCard, and was in a management job there even as I went to school. Afterward, just by serendipity, I saw an ad in the newspaper, and then went to work for Unicef. From there, I moved to a couple of different nonprofits.”

From Judge Business School: In technology, finding and nurturing the right people is key

“Technology investor Mike Lynch, the founder of Invoke Capital, says it’s important to challenge people to do great things.”

From Jack Torrance: 4 leadership tips from a $13bn tech CEO

“Traditional management methods are rooted in the days of steam trains and textile mills and need to be updated to cope with a workforce that has to make decisions on the spot, says Jim Whitehurst. His name might not be familiar to you, but since becoming CEO of the open source tech company Red Hat eight years ago he’s transformed it into a powerhouse with more than $2bn (£1.5bn) in annual revenues and a $13bn market cap. So he probably knows a thing or two.”

From Adam Bryant: Kevin Warren of the Minnesota Vikings: Championships Are Won in the Details

“It goes back to that lesson I learned with my paper route. You have to make sure you focus on the little things. For the players, it might be the extra wind sprints, or in my current role, helping an employee deal with a personal issue. All those little things don’t seem like much, but when you add them up, they can be that important yard in a game.”

From Amy Lynch: One Click CEO Randy Stocklin steers online eyewear firm

“For Randy Stocklin, starting his own business was never a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’ At a young age, the One Click CEO was inspired by watching his own father grow a portfolio of rental properties. Together with his wife, Angie, Stocklin launched his own Greenwood-based eyewear e-commerce business in 2005, after working in software engineering roles at VIFI, Angie’s List and Aprimo, experiences that he says helped him determine the kind of company culture he wanted to create”

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