Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 10/8/19

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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 Jay Adelson, Eric Wheeler, Wan Kim, Kathy Ireland, and Paul Polman.

From Jared Newman: Inside the race to (finally) bring pinball into the internet era.

“The cofounder of Digg has a plan to modernize pinball machines with online leaderboards and achievements. But so does the world’s largest pinball company.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Gabriel Perna: 33Across CEO On Bringing The Company Back From The Brink

“To say 2012 was a bad year for Eric Wheeler would be an understatement. That year, Wheeler’s company, 33Across, which offers a platform that automates online advertisements for companies, lost millions of revenue in its pipeline. The company went from near profitability to deep in the red and 70% of its employees had to be let go. Wheeler, who founded the company in 2008, says seismic shifts in the online advertising industry wiped away major parts of its ad network business.”

From Marcel Schwantes: The CEO of Smoothie King Just Revealed 1 Brilliant Question That Sets His Leadership Apart From the Rest

“Since Kim took the helm, Smoothie King has opened an average of 100 stores per year for the last three years and had a record-setting 2018–opening more locations than in any single year of our franchise’s 46-year history. So what’s the magic formula for Kim? As it turns out, it’s pretty simple and replicable for any organization.”

From Jamie Friedlander: How Kathy Ireland Built Her Business Empire

“The story goes well beyond that neon yellow bikini. Ireland’s company, kathy ireland Worldwide (kiWW), is far from being a small passion project run by a former supermodel. It’s a multibillion-dollar worldwide brand that has made Ireland, 56, one of the richest self-made women in the world.”

From David Lancefield and Jeremy Grant: Forging partnerships to create a tipping point in sustainability

“Paul Polman, former chief executive of Unilever, explains why partnerships among government, civil society, and business are urgently needed.”

For some ideas about how to get more from this series of posts, check out “Studying Leaders in the Wild.

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