Instead of studying leadership, why not spend some time studying leaders and strategies in the wild? You can learn a lot from leadership experts, but you always see the leader and what he or she does through the expert’s personal lens. Supplement that learning with studying real leaders in real life situations and draw your own conclusions. The posts in this series will help you.
Every week I’ll point you to articles by and about real leaders in real situations and to articles about how real companies are faring in the marketplace. Read them. Think about them. Draw your own lessons and conclusions from them. Then try to apply those lessons in your own real life.
This week I’m pointing you to articles about Engie, S&P Global, KLX Aerospace, Microsoft, and Priceline.
“Surveying a swiftly shifting energy landscape in 2014, Engie, one of the world’s largest energy companies, made a dramatic decision. The nearly 200-year-old company with annual revenue of €67 billion was a major global producer and supplier of energy and owned the largest natural gas pipeline in Europe, but the French company’s leadership saw a bellwether in the sharp drop in fossil fuel costs. This led to what the company calls a ‘strategic epiphany.’ It would rapidly shift the company’s focus toward renewable energy in both Europe and growing areas like India and China while reducing future exploration in fossil fuels.”
From John Berisford and Jack Callahan: Finance and HR: The Executive Partnership That Transformed a Company
“Six years ago, two executives new to their jobs led the strategic transition that remade McGraw-Hill into S&P Global.”
“When you fly in a commercial jet or private plane, it’s likely that some parts on the aircraft — rivets and high-tech screws, landing gear lamps or ball bearings — have been supplied by Miami-based KLX Aerospace Solutions.”
“The great thing about a monopoly is that a company can do anything, because there is no competition; the bad thing is that when the monopoly is finished the company is still capable of doing anything at a mediocre level, but nothing at a high one because it has become fat and lazy. To put it another way, for a former monopoly ‘big’ is the only truly differentiated asset.”
“As titans like Google, Facebook and Amazon hog the limelight, other firms can go unnoticed. One that deserves more attention is Priceline, the world’s largest online-travel company.”