Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 5/28/19

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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 Paul Dupuis, Susan Wojcicki, Fred Engelfried, Sears, and Robert F. Smith.

From Kim Thomas: Five E’s of Effective leadership

“Effective leaders must be able to envision, express, excite, enable and execute, says Randstad India CEO Paul Dupuis.”

From Daisuke Wakabayashi: The Most Measured Person in Tech Is Running the Most Chaotic Place on the Internet

“While Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey and others have gotten their share of public scrutiny, Ms. Wojcicki largely has not. I wanted to get a better sense of what she was like as a C.E.O., how she was trying to tame YouTube’s hydra of issues and whether there was any sense of urgency within YouTube. And so over the last several months, I spoke to more than a dozen current and former YouTube and Google employees and interviewed Ms. Wojcicki three times.”

From Fred Engelfried: Fear of Failure Is The Ultimate Motivator For Many Leaders

“Most of us grow up with some insecurities…you know, how we look, not being as good at some things as others, not being included in the ‘popular’ groups and for some, not having what some others have. Kid stuff, right? For me, whatever insecurities I had in my youth all faded, reemerging in adulthood as a distilled but dominant fear of failure. I’ve ‘enjoyed’ this motivating force ever since.”

From Geoff Colvin and Phil Wahba: Sears’ Seven Decades of Self-Destruction

“Sears’ bankruptcy filing last year sparked torrents of criticism for its current leaders. But the problems that brought down this former Fortune 500 stalwart date way back to the Eisenhower era. Here’s what leaders can learn from an icon’s slow-motion collapse.”

From Jennifer Kahnweiler: The Quiet Leadership Speaker Who Stunned the Crowd

“In the last few days, we have learned more about Robert F. Smith, leadership speaker and Austin billionaire who quietly announced at the 2019 Morehouse College commencement that he was paying off the student loans of each and every one of the 400 graduates. There was shock and then sheer exuberance at the realization that this tremendous financial burden would be lifted.This generous gift will change the lives of these graduates who can feel free to move ahead in their careers without the burden of financial debt.”

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

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What People Are Saying

Hamilton Lindley   |   29 May 2019   |   Reply

The fall of Sears is a case-study that business schools will use for years. There was so much that could have changed that didn’t. It makes me wonder what will disrupt Amazon in the next 50 years.

Wally Bock   |   30 May 2019   |   Reply

That’s true, but it’s also worth remembering that the mighty eventually fall. Less that a hundred years ago, A & P held the position WalMart holds now. Hardly enyone believe they would ever be beaten. It’s way harder to stay on top for a long time than it is to get there in the first place.