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 Buffalo Wild Wings, IBM, Apple, HubSpot, and Arbonne.
“With the closing of its $2.9 billion purchase of Buffalo Wild Wings, Atlanta-based Arby’s Restaurant Group renamed itself Inspire Brands Inc. and unveiled plans to buy other restaurants. The company will target chains that, like Buffalo Wild Wings, are distinctive in their niche, have a successful track record and still have room to grow.”
“In business, longevity requires continual transformation from companies. Sometimes small adjustments are sufficient. But other times businesses need to reconceive their most fundamental operations in order to survive and stay vital. Just ask Diane Brink. Brink served as IBM’s Chief Marketing Officer for Global Technology Services from 2008 to 2015—a period that saw IBM shift from a focus on legacy infrastructure services to cloud-based services and solutions.”
“Apple, at least in human terms, is officially over the hill: the company’s 40th birthday was last April. In truth, though, the first Apple died and was reborn in 1997 with the return of Steve Jobs, at a time when the company was weeks away from bankruptcy.”
“Wait, what? Whiplash? The main culprit for the negative feedback was — of course — problems with communication. What worked with a 100-person organization was outmoded beyond the 150-person mark.”
“Kay Zanotti has held senior leadership positions at Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, and she is now the CEO of Arbonne, a provider of pure botanically-based health and beauty products. Since taking over as CEO, she’s navigated the company out of bankruptcy into fantastic growth, and today, it’s a $600 million a year business operating in seven different countries.”