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 Ralph Lauren, TaskRabbit, Symantec, Boeing, and Zara.
“Ralph Lauren, as the tie salesman is better known today, wasn’t a player, he was a garment district merchandiser. He had seen one polo match in his entire life. But that was all he needed to believe the market was ripe for a high society look, as the hippie era ended. People were looking for a lifestyle that was ‘riche’ but not too nouveau, and leather boots and snug fitting breeches were just the ticket. Lauren was able to sell clothing in Cary Grant movies that shoppers couldn’t find in stores. With that as a motif, Lauren turned his brand into a co-star, where he outfitted actors in films like Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and The Great Gatsby.”
“When I was 8, I asked my dad what was the highest role in a company, and he said, ‘It’s the CEO.’ That’s when I decided what I wanted to be. I started a recycling program in our elementary school and set up an office in our basement, where I was the CEO.”
“On Monday, Symantec Chief HR Officer Amy Cappellanti-Wolf showed how her company, through HR’s efforts and leadership buy-in, was able to restructure its culture for greater alignment, satisfaction and results even as the company underwent divestitures, acquisitions and CEO changes.”
“It’s all about leadership. It’s always all about leadership. And leadership is always accountable for what happens or fails to happen on their watch.”
From Andrea Felsted and Sara Halzack: Zara’s hot polka-dot dress shows human brains beating big data
“But the company, founded by Spain’s richest man, Amancio Ortega, is coming under intensified pressure. Rivals in the United States and Europe are catching up to its short production lead times. Meanwhile, cheaper upstarts such as Associated British Foods’ Primark as well as Boohoo Group are burnishing their fashion credentials.”
For some ideas about how to get more from this series of posts, check out “Studying Leaders in the Wild.“