By and About Leaders: 8/23/16

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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 Christa Quarles, Mark Zuckerberg, Jo Malone, Bracken Darrell, and Bill Gates.

From Adam Bryant: Christa Quarles of OpenTable: The Advantage of ‘Early, Often, Ugly’

“Teams were trying to perfect something before they would show it to me, and they’d waste a ton of time trying to get it to be perfect to show to the C.E.O. So I said, ‘Early, often, ugly. It’s O.K. It doesn’t have to be perfect because then I can course-correct much, much faster.’ No amount of ugly truth scares me. It’s just information to make a decision.”

From Jillian D’Onfro: Mark Zuckerberg: CEOs need to take risks, but shouldn’t have to do ‘big, crazy things’

“The Facebook CEO offered this management advice in two parts in an interview with Y Combinator president Sam Altman. When Altman asked him for the best advice that controversial board member Peter Thiel had ever given him, Zuckerberg quoted him as saying, ‘In a world that’s changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is not taking any risk.’ He continued by saying that if a company is ‘stagnant’ and doesn’t make changes, then it’s ‘guaranteed to fail and not catch up.’”

From Adam Gale: ‘I’m dyslexic, but they thought I was lazy’ – Jo Malone

“The cosmetics entrepreneur left school with no qualifications but enjoyed subjects she could visualise.”

From Adam Bryant: Bracken Darrell of Logitech: Be Sure to Tell the Boss What’s Wrong

“The C.E.O. of Logitech says that when a company goes through tough times, employees need to speak up and know they will be heard.”

From Bill Gates: A Teacher Who Changed My Life

“Three very strong women—my mother, my maternal grandmother, and Melinda—deserve big credit (or blame, I suppose) for helping me become the man I am today. But Blanche Caffiere, a very kindly librarian and teacher I’ve never written about publicly before, also had a huge influence on me. “

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