Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 2/20/18

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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 Meg Whitman, Katrina Lake, Dan Knotts, James Gorman, and Ingvar Kamprad.

From Jeff Cunningham: For Meg Whitman, 61 Is The New 21

“Why did the most experienced woman in Silicon Valley, Meg Whitman, 61, leave venerable Hewlett Packard to join a mobile content startup venture aptly named NewTV?”

From Dhani Mau: Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake Wanted to Work at the ‘Apparel Retailer of the Future,’ So She Founded It

“Of the many fashion tech startups and e-commerce companies we’ve seen flood the retail landscape in the past eight years or so, the personal styling service Stitch Fix has stood out as one of the fastest-growing and the first to go public, with a $120 million initial public offering last November. The IPO received an abundance of media attention across industries with journalists and analysts not only pointing to it as a potential model for other rapidly-growing fashion startups like Warby Parker, but also because of founder and CEO Katrina Lake’s gender. Many stories pointed out that hers was the only female-led tech IPO of 2017.”

From Dale Buss: Knotts’ Landing: How CEO Dan Knotts Freshens His Long-Running Leadership Of R.R. Donnelley

“Dan Knotts has been with R.R. Donnelley for more than 30 years, finally ascending to the CEO job in 2016. Such a climb up the corporate ladder is rarer than it used to be because of how the dynamics of business, and the expectations of important constituencies, have gotten more demanding.”

From Erik Schatzker: Morgan Stanley’s CEO Gives Himself an A-Minus

“Morgan Stanley had plenty of doubters, and Chief Executive Officer James Gorman has won them over.”

From Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell: The Legacy of IKEA Founder Ingvar Kamprad

“IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who died January 27 at the age of 91, leaves behind a legacy that extends beyond his business. His business in itself would be enough: a global chain of some 379 stores that sells upward of US$40 billion a year in low-cost domestic furnishings and dominates the household furniture category worldwide. From the company’s beginning, in 1943, observers of IKEA have remarked on the elegant Scandinavian design and consistently low cost of its exotically named furniture, but the heart of Kamprad’s genius — and of his influence — was the design of IKEA’s customer experience and imbuing it with empathy.”

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