Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 6/6/17

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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 five women business leaders: Mary Barra, Cheri Phyfer, Angela Ahrendts, Kate Duchene, and Safra Catz

From Mark Phelan: Mary Barra shapes a new GM: Fast, focused and decisive

Mary Barra has only been chairman and CEO of General Motors for 3½ years, but the company she leads today is vastly different from the one she inherited: more decisive, focused, responsive and responsible.

From Jill Jusko: Sherwin-Williams’ Cheri Phyfer: On Building Bridges and Developing Women in Leadership

“The president of the Diversified Brands Division shares leadership lessons learned and ‘paying it forward.’”

From Marie Driscoll: Angela Ahrendts’ Apple is No “Store” – It’s a Community

“Selling stuff in an Apple store is nowhere to be found in Angela Ahrendts’ vision for Apple’s retail business, which she is in charge of as its SVP. Her vision of the brand (as I interpreted her words), is that it should be a living, breathing, ‘human’ gathering place, a community whose DNA is shaped to match each unique community it is in, and to determine ways in which it can add value into those communities.”

From Ronald D. White: Early lessons from tough bosses took Kate Duchene into the problem-solving business

“Since December, Kate W. Duchene has been chief executive of Resources Connection Inc., parent of RGP, a 3,300-employee company with 67 offices around the world. RPG is part temp agency — for professionals that businesses can’t afford to keep on staff full time — and part expert resource. Duchene said the Irvine company, formerly called Resources Global Professionals, can quickly assemble a team of several dozen, if necessary, to help with matters such as mergers, implementing a new business strategy, retrenching and learning to comply with new regulations.”

From Ellen Sherberg: Safra Catz: Oracle’s low-profile powerhouse

“The highest-compensated female CEO on Bloomberg’s Pay Index has one of the lowest public profiles of women who run major companies, especially in tech.”

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