Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 1/30/18

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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 Mike McGuire, Safra Catz, Dennis Muilenberg, Doug Conant, and Niki Leondakis.

From Heidrick and Struggles: Becoming a talent magnet through culture: An interview with Grant Thornton CEO Mike McGuire

“McGuire had championed culture change in his previous leadership roles at Grant Thornton, but it became his top priority when he became CEO of the firm in 2015. The senior leadership team set clear business goals for the culture shift, including improving the quality of the firm’s work, increasing client quality and satisfaction, enhancing brand reputation, and improving employee recruitment, engagement, and retention.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Art Kleiner: At Oracle, Great Technology Is Not Enough

“In the first interview in this series, which kicks off PwC’s 2018 CEO Survey, chief executive Safra Catz explains the broad culture shift brought on by AI and cloud technologies.”

From J. P. Donlon: Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg’s Moonshot

“If anyone thinks U.S. manufacturing is in decline, have them talk to Dennis Muilenburg. After serving as Boeing’s COO, the Iowa native and aerospace engineer took over the top job from Jim McNerney in 2015, and he has been on a tear ever since, driving the nation’s leading aerospace and defense company—and America’s biggest exporter—to find another gear to compete in an increasingly complex, global and interconnected world.”


“For the past 20 years of his leadership journey, Doug has honed his craft at the most senior levels – first as President of the Nabisco Foods Company, then as CEO of Campbell Soup Company, and finally as Chairman of Avon Products.”

From Alyssa Shelasky: How I Get It Done: Niki Leondakis, CEO of Equinox

“Niki Leondakis became CEO of the global luxury lifestyle brand Equinox last March. Prior to this job, she ran major hospitality brands such as Thompson Hotels and Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. San Francisco Business Times called her one of the Bay Area’s Most Admired CEOs. She oversees 90 clubs, works out once — sometimes twice — a day, mingles with the Greek culturati at night, and says she only has time for a ‘weekend marriage.’ Here’s how she gets it all done.”

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