Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 2/12/19

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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 Avon, Peter Dunn, KI Furniture, Henry David Thoreau, and Maria Ureña.

From Tonya Riley: These Latina Avon Sellers Have Dominated A Beauty Company Modeled On White Womanhood

“Spanish-speaking sellers have become Avon’s not-so-secret weapon as the beauty sales empire works to reinvent itself in the US. But is the company doing enough to support them?”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Gabriel Perna: Activate Healthcare Co-Founder On Finding Large Unsolved Problems

“Peter Dunn, principal and co-founder of Activate Healthcare, which works with employers to set up and run primary-care clinics, says his career was shaped by a unique food product that you can find in every grocery store.”

From Timothy Van Severen: Making a Case (and Chairs, and Desks) for Employee Ownership

“Employee-owned businesses tend to outperform their competitors, a growing body of research shows. According to the National Center of Employee Ownership, businesses with employee ownership models grow sales and employment at a faster rate than businesses without such programs. Employee-owned firms also perform better than their counterparts during recessions, per research from Georgetown University.”

From Daniel Akst: Yes, Henry David Thoreau Was an Industrial Innovator

“Henry David Thoreau, the 19th-century writer, philosopher, and naturalist, is probably best known for having holed up in a cabin by Walden Pond to escape the pressures of the commercial and material world. But far fewer people know that Thoreau’s skills transcended writing and thinking to also include business. For a period, in fact, he made America’s best pencils. And while he is far better remembered for what he did with pencils than for how he made them, we can learn a great deal from his efforts in both realms.”

From Beth Jensen: “I See Others Who Scale and Wonder What They’re Doing Differently”

“In the 18 years Maria Ureña has run King Automotive Services, all company financing has been personal.”

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

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