Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 1/24/17

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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 Craig Zoberis, American Greetings, Ringling Brothers, Joe Guith and Brenda Barnes.

From Amy Feldman: How One Small American Manufacturer, Fusion OEM, Pays Above-Market Wages And Makes A Profit

“Craig Zoberis, 48, started his career at his father’s contract engineering business where he says he experienced a workplace culture he didn’t like. So, in 2002, after getting an MBA from St. Xavier University in Chicago, he started Fusion OEM and focused not just on getting the product right but on creating a company where people want to work. Today, the company, based in Burr Ridge, Ill., just west of Chicago, is a contract manufacturer of mechanical and electrical machines and components. It did $12 million in sales last year and made a profit. While lots of other manufacturers have moved operations to China or Mexico, Zoberis has kept his plant in the United States – and considers it a point of pride to pay his 55 workers above-market rates.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Dale Buss: How American Greetings Learned to Embrace Tumultuous Change

“American Greetings, like its chief competitor Hallmark, is fighting back in an era when social media has given everyone an instant platform for communicating sentiments—one that would seem to have eliminated the old-fashioned, hand-held greeting card. How does a traditional media company stay relevant and keep its business profitable?”

From Tamara Lush: Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

“After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’ The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.”

From Joe Guith: Networking: Why you only need a core group of 10

“Your ability to grow your business is only as good as the relationships that will help you get there, both in terms of providing guidance and professional development, as well as in opening doors and making connections. Creating a powerful network of accomplished individuals within the areas you’re trying to crack is not a luxury, but a necessity in order to drive success. But how do you find these influencers and connect with them? By using the Power of 10:”

From the Chicago Tribune: Brenda Barnes, former Sara Lee and Pepsi-Cola CEO, dies in Naperville at 63

“Barnes made headlines in 1997 when she left her job as president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America after 18 months to become a stay-at-home mom. A debate ensued in the media about the tug-of-war working women face when balancing their professional lives and their families.”

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