Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 12/11/18

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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 Mary Barra, Chris Docherty, Sasan Goodarzi, Target, and Payless ShoeSource.

From Dale Buss: GM CEO Barra’s Streamlining Plan Underscores Her Trailblazer Status

“General Motors CEO Mary Barra is putting her pedal to the metal in an attempt to keep the automaker ahead of slowing sales and technological disruption.”

From Chris Docherty: The Art of Failure: Lessons for Brands from the Bottom of the Pyramid

“At Windward, we pride ourselves on our failures every bit as much as our successes. Failure means we’re doing something that’s hard, that’s different, that brings high risks but higher rewards. Failure is hardwired into our organisation alongside too many air miles and drinking more coffee than we should.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Peter High: Intuit’s New CEO: Culture And Customer Focus Remain Top Priorities

“Next month, Sasan Goodarzi will become the Chief Executive Officer of Intuit. He once made his ambition to rise to the CEO role clear to his superiors, and as they cottoned to the idea and more officially put in him the succession path for CEO, he was exposed to each business unit of the company. He notes in my interview with him that, though it was important for him to make his hopes clear, he also gained even more mightily when he focused on more on enjoying the jobs he took on for the opportunity and learning that each offered.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Dina Gerdeman: On Target: Rethinking the Retail Website

“Target is one big-brand retailer that seems to have survived and even thrived in the apocalyptic retail landscape. What’s its secret? Srikant Datar discusses the company’s relentless focus on online data.”

From Wharton: five Marketing Lessons from the Payless Shoe Store Prank

“An elaborate advertising prank by discount retailer Payless ShoeSource is raising eyebrows and important questions about the ability of marketers to manipulate consumer behavior. The ruse took place in a mall near Los Angeles, where a select group of social media influencers were invited to a private launch party for new Italian shoe designer Bruno Palessi. But after the fashionistas paid hundreds of dollars for what they though was fancy footwear, they discovered they had been duped.”

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

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