Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 11/28/17

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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 Wheels Up, Aldi, Lidl, Lerner Publishing, Macy’s, and Nokia.

From Nancy Dahlberg: Wheels Up finds altitude in private jet marketplace

“The key to Wheels Up’s early success has been the purchase of it its fleet of ‘flying SUVs,’ the King Air 350i, the company’s executives say. By owning the fleet, Wheels Up was able to lower the cost of flying in an eight-seater airplane by 50 percent, further opening up the ultra-rich world of private aviation to the merely wealthy — and increasingly, to corporations. Wheels Up specializes in two-hour-or-less flights; South Florida members typically use it for intra-state service, flights to the Bahamas and Caribbean, including Cuba, and to cities throughout the eastern seaboard.”

From the Economist: Aldi and Lidl grow despite ignoring the internet

“Opened in April this is the prototype for a vast new renovation and expansion programme across Europe, Britain and America. It is the discount giant’s big bet on the future of shopping, all the more daring as the money is going almost entirely on bricks and mortar. Defying the conventional wisdom that customers want both in-store and online shopping (‘omnichannel’ in the jargon) Aldi wants to conquer the retail world by ignoring the internet. As too, to a lesser extent, does its great German rival Lidl. Plenty of other grocers reckon this may be the miscalculation that eventually brings them down.”

From Evan Ramstad: For family-owned Lerner Publishing, accolades and internal change mark a watershed year

“Founder Harry Lerner created an education book juggernaut. Son Adam is turning it into something more.”

From Susan Berfield and Lindsey Rupp: Macy’s Has a Plan to Survive the Retail Apocalypse

“Things aren’t great if you’re a department store.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Yves Doz: The Strategic Decisions That Caused Nokia’s Failure

“In less than a decade, Nokia emerged from Finland to lead the mobile phone revolution. It rapidly grew to have one of the most recognisable and valuable brands in the world. At its height Nokia commanded a global market share in mobile phones of over 40 percent. While its journey to the top was swift, its decline was equally so, culminating in the sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2013.”

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