By and About Leaders: 9/23/14

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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 Phil Knight, Tim Cook, Edward J. Quilty, Carlos Cardoso, and Steven Mollenkopf.

From Matthew Kish: Phil Knight on the early days of Nike

“Knight spoke with the Portland Business Journal this week about the company’s early days. The interview will run alongside a cover story Friday that looks at how Portland has become for footwear and apparel what Silicon Valley is to technology.”

From Brad Stone and Adam Satariano: Tim Cook Interview: The iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, and Being Nice

“Steve Jobs’s office remains Steve Jobs’s office. After his death in 2011, Tim Cook, his friend and successor as Apple (AAPL) chief executive officer, decided to leave the sparsely decorated room on the fourth floor of 1 Infinite Loop untouched. It’s not a shrine or place of mourning, but just a space that Cook sensed no one could or should ever fill. ‘It felt right to leave it as it is,’ he says. ‘That’s Steve’s office.’ Almost everything else on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, Calif., is different.”

From Jennifer Pellet: For Derma Sciences’ CEO, Skin ‘Is’ the Game

“How Derma Sciences’ Edward J. Quilty turned a one-product wonder into a dominant player in its field.”

From Travis Hessman: Manufacturing the American Dream

“Kennametal’s Carlos Cardoso climbed the industrial ladder all the way from ‘shop rat’ to CEO. As he prepares for retirement, he remains hopeful that manufacturing can offer the next generation the same opportunities it offered him.”

From Adam Bryant: Steven Mollenkopf of Qualcomm: If You Don’t Know, Just Say So

“The more senior you get, the less concerned you are with saying, ‘I don’t know the answer here.’ You realize that you’re not supposed to know all the answers. Your job is to surround yourself with people who can help you figure out the answers. You don’t realize that when you’re starting out.”

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