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 Sophi Tranchell, Bill Sandbrook, Cedric Bru, Ellen Latham, James Rhee, and Adena Friedman.
“I recently had the opportunity to interview two CEOs on a single day. While the interviews were conducted for two different projects and initially seemed dissimilar, my review of the notes revealed great commonalities in how the two run their businesses. Their insights make a great playbook for the leadership basics from which every executive can learn.”
“I had to rebuild the entire management team in my current role for various reasons. And as I did that, I started to think about what I learned playing rugby. You need to trust the people on your team. People need to know that if they are ever close to a cliff — about to make a risky decision or hire the wrong person — they can turn around, ask their colleagues for help. And if I’m close to the cliff, they can grab me and I will welcome it.”
“When she founded Orangetheory Fitness in 2010, Latham used her expertise in group exercise as well as metabolic training to create a workout that was engaging and effective. She never expected the explosive growth that came next.”
“Perhaps James was able to view the business from a totally different perspective because he had absolutely no retail or apparel brand experience. By his own admission, on his first day of taking over as CEO with the intent to save the business from bankruptcy, he confessed to his entire management ranks that he was the least qualified person to run the business, much less save it. Indeed, his background was brand and retail ‘lite’ to say the least. He was a private equity investor and former high school teacher.”
From Michael P. Regan and Joel Weber: Nasdaq’s Black Belt CEO on IPOs, Unicorns, and Roundhouse Kicks
“The Roland Park Country School is just a few miles—but worlds away—from the hardscrabble streets of Baltimore that The Wire made famous. Yet this all-girls prep school was where Adena Friedman learned a lesson that’s helped her thrive in the historically all-boys club located on one of the meanest streets there is for smart, ambitious women like her: Wall Street. ‘You can be anything,’ she recalls her teachers telling her. And it was something about financial markets that captivated young Friedman’s imagination when she visited her dad at T. Rowe Price, long before Take Our Daughters to Work Day was a thing.”
Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story.