Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 5/16/17

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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 McDonald’s, Facebook, Dick’s, ESPN, and WalMart

From Samantha Bomkamp: Large fries? Extra sauce? Why McDonald’s wants to track all your dining habits.

“You know a lot about McDonald’s, but McDonald’s doesn’t know much about you. At least not yet.”

From Farhad Manjoo: Why Facebook Keeps Beating Every Rival

“Do you know what happens when you control four of the biggest social networks in the world? You get to stop worrying about competitors beating you on features. Mr. Zuckerberg had done it before: Every time some other social company came up with social features that people seemed to enjoy — Twitter with the follower mechanism, Foursquare with checking in to stuff, Vine with short videos, Periscope and Meerkat with live video — Facebook or one of its subsidiaries (or all of them) could just copy and co-opt.”

From Eben Novy-Williams and Matthew Townsend: Dick’s New Strategy Starts With Trail Runners and Triathletes

“Last month, the biggest sporting-goods retailer in the U.S. put apparel companies on notice: Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. said it plans to cut the outside brands it carries by 20 percent and instead focus on making, selling and branding its own gear.”

From Anthony Noto: Why ESPN’s problems are just beginning and more layoffs are on the way

“ESPN’s massive round of layoffs last week were the result of many factors. Between the changing habits of viewers, fewer cable subscribers, and the pricey contracts to air NFL and NBA games, the network, which is owned by Disney (NYSE: DIS), was forced to make some uncomfortable decisions.”

From Robin Lewis: Walmart Acquires Its Way Online

“Walmart is moving at a speed that most industry experts find hard to believe. In fact, while Amazon has focused on vertically integrating its distribution and delivery chain, buying and/or leasing fleets of trucks, planes, trains, drones, driverless cars and you name it, including turning the ‘last mile’ into a hundred yard dash, Walmart already has a distribution infrastructure in place that puts their entire inventory, physically way more accessible to consumers than Amazon.”

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