Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 12/4/18

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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 Steve Ballmer, Gibson, Mattress Firm, Fluid Imaging, and Sheryl Sandberg.

From Jeff Cunningham: Steve Ballmer: ‘Basketball Is Harder Than Business

“He is a man of two passions, basketball and high-tech, and he quickly discovered they share many of the same ups and downs.”

From Wharton: Is Gibson Ready for Its Encore

“Some of the most iconic moments in music have been played on a Gibson guitar. But lately, the company has fallen on some tough times. Gibson filed for bankruptcy in May and is expected to relaunch in November. Its new leadership team, headed by new president and CEO James ‘JC’ Curleigh, who previously served as president of the Levi’s brand at Levi Strauss & Co., took over on November.”

Fr0m Jef Feeley. Matt Townsend, and Laurel Calkins: How a Frenzied Expansion Brought Down America’s No. 1 Mattress Seller

“Was it the breakneck growth alone that landed Mattress Firm Inc. in bankruptcy court? Or, as the company claims in a lawsuit filed last year, did a pair of greedy executives — taking advantage of the strategy to skim money off its real estate deals and enrich an outside accomplice — help it get there? The answer may hold lessons for America’s biggest mattress seller now that it has emerged from bankruptcy court after a fast-track restructuring.”

From Gabriel Perna: Atypical Manufacturer Thrives In Atypical Manufacturing Hub

“Fluid Imaging isn’t your typical manufacturing company and Maine isn’t your typical manufacturing hub. Perhaps, that’s why the two go hand in hand—the Pine Tree State has been the perfect place for the particle analysis instrument manufacturer to grow as a company, says CEO Kent Peterson.”

From Kristen Bellstrom: Sheryl Sandberg’s Fall from Grace and What It Can Teach Working Women

“Am I the only one who had some, um, lively discussions about Sheryl Sandberg with friends and family over the Thanksgiving weekend?”

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

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