By and About Leaders: 8/9/16

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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 Cathy Englebert, Greg Becker, Donna Allie, Satya Nadella, and Risto Siilasmaa.

From Cathy Englebert: What the Rio Olympics Teaches Business Leaders

“The Games also remind me that business leaders and athletes share similar qualities. They must know when to lead, know when to follow, know when to pass to their teammates, and know when to ask for help, to name a few. I’ll watch as these same themes unfold in Rio, and celebrate their impact in our workplace, as we watch moments of brilliance in the performance of these athletes.”

From Chrisie Wendin: Silicon Valley’s Farsighted Banker

“While he is bullish on the future because of the technological value he sees evolving, Becker is also mindful of the enormous challenge facing his clients: access to talent. It still remains too difficult, in his view, to find the highly skilled talent needed for the many technology jobs available.”

From Jane M. Von Bergen: In Philly, from cleaning lady to CEO, a rags-to-riches story

“Every business has its story, but Donna Allie’s is more personal than most. These days, Allie’s company, Team Clean Inc. employs 700. But it didn’t start out that way.”

From Dina Bass: Satya Nadella on a Middle-Aged Microsoft

“I think any company that has had tremendous success should be mindful that early success or big success can get in the way of creating new success. Somebody said to me a long time ago that the worst thing that can happen to anybody growing up is early success, because after that you really don’t understand what it takes to actually drive and strive and persist.”

From BCG Perspectives: The Rebirth of Nokia: An Interview with Chairman Risto Siilasmaa

“When Risto Siilasmaa became chairman of Nokia, in 2012, the company was flirting with bankruptcy. Equity analysts had turned their backs on the company, and consumers were flocking to Apple and Android phones. Nokia has transformed many times in its 150-year history. It started as a paper mill and expanded into forestry, rubber, and cables before settling on phones and networking equipment in the 1980s, at the dawn of the mobile era. Its most recent transformation may be its biggest pivot yet.”

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