Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 5/22/18

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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 Amazon, Levi’s, Conduent, Duluth Trading Company, and QVC.

From Warren Shoulberg: Amazon’s Trojan Horse

“Jeff Bezos may be outsmarting the rest of the retailing world…again. While everyone speculates on which physical retailer Amazon will buy next, Bezos may be working an entirely different strategy for how to expand his domain beyond the virtual.”

From Marc Bain: The simple mantra that helped Levi’s turn its business around

“When Chip Bergh joined Levi’s as CEO in September 2011, the American clothing company was in a slump. ‘In ’96, we were bigger than Nike,’ he says, ‘and then from ’96 to 2001, [we] went from $7.1 billion dollars in sales to $4.1 billion in sales. They lost almost half of the business.'”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Daniel Gross: Shifting a Corporate Culture at Scale — and with Speed

“In a matter of months, Vemuri had to assemble a new team, establish a new corporate headquarters, create a new company identity, and rationalize a sprawling, decentralized corporate structure. Vemuri sat down with strategy+business in the company’s Florham Park, N.J., headquarters to describe how Conduent’s trajectory has changed since its January 2017 debut as a publicly traded independent company.”

From John Ewoldt: Duluth Trading Co. expands as many apparel chains languish

“Duluth Trading Company, a retailer founded in Minnesota and known for irreverent ads featuring ‘Fire Hose Pants’ and ‘No Yank Tanks,’ is expanding across the country at a time when many apparel retailers are shuttering stores.”

From Deborah Abrams Kaplan: E-tail pioneer QVC refashions its supply chain in digital age

“Retail analysts today are looking intensely as a war for digital sales dominance unfolds between Walmart and Amazon, but many aren’t looking at the third-largest e-commerce retailer selling products in multiple categories, which has been amassing an empire of 13 million shoppers, unchallenged. It’s not Target or Costco — but QVC.”

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

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