Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 11/12/19

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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 William J. Amelio, Tim Brown, Arnold Donald, John Donahoe, and Karen Fichuk.

From William J. Amelio: Avnet CEO Shares His Experience In Leading A Pivot

“When I joined Avnet as CEO in 2016, the company was clearly in need of change. The past 10 years had seen a lot of consolidation in the technology distribution industry, and gross margins were under pressure. We faced a choice: keep squeezing down costs or find another revenue stream.”

Wally’s Comment: Tom Hall and I profiled this company in Ruthless Focus. Then it was an example of how to get mergers and acquisitions right. That was only six years before Amelio arrived. Company fortunes can change quickly. Note: The link above is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you folow that link and buy the book, I will get a small commission.

From Cameron Albert-Deitch : A Decade Ago, He Helped Lead New Zealand to the World Cup. Now, Allbirds’s Founder Is Bringing Those Team

“Tim Brown didn’t have the typical resume of a hotshot Silicon Valley entrepreneur when he co-founded his shoe startup in 2016, but he knew firsthand how to put together a great team.”

From J. P. Donlon: Sea Changes: Carnival Cruise Corporation CEO Arnold Donald On Transformation

“Just 18 months ago, it was all smooth sailing for Miami-based Carnival Corporation & plc. Its share price at a 10-year high, the $18.8 billion company was logging the highest profits of its 45-year history. But at a time when consumer-facing companies are just a bad quarter or two away from a stock drop, success stories can go sideways fast—even for a celebrated CEO like Arnold Donald.”

From Adam Bryant: Working on Priorities or Goals? Shift Your Focus to “Desired Outcomes.”

“John Donahoe, CEO of ServiceNow, is in his third chief executive role. In our conversation, he shared smart insights about how to set priorities that matter, creating a ‘social contract’ with your leadership team, and the importance of staying present in the moment, even if you’re being pulled in a million directions.”

From Joel Trammell: Randstad CEO Karen Fichuk: Leading Staffing into the Future

“Randstad North America CEO Karen Fichuk joined the company in February after spending much of her career at Nielsen. This is her first CEO role and she is new to the staffing industry, so I was very interested in her career journey, her approach to the position, and how she plans to lead Randstad into the future.”

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

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