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 Sears, Home Depot, Nordstrom, General Mills, and Delphi.
“In 1989, Sears Roebuck & Co. ruled America as its biggest retailer. It loomed over rivals from a perch high above Chicago, inside what was once the world’s tallest building—one bearing the company’s name. The fall from that height may finally be nearing an end.”
“The colors of retail have lately come in red for financial losses, black and white for obituaries or maybe shade of gray for the grim struggle to survive in changing times. And then there’s orange.”
“But even from a position of relative strength, Nordstrom is struggling to navigate a broad upending of the retail industry, as shopping malls lose their appeal and more customers choose to buy goods online. On Thursday, members of the family that founded Nordstrom in Seattle a century ago — and who still own a substantial portion of its shares — said they were exploring ways to shift the company into private ownership.”
“The company’s Yoplait yogurt brand has foundered, falling behind Chobani—that’s only one problem for the packaged food giant. Can a new CEO calm the waters?”
“But with new technologies turning automobiles into supercomputers on wheels, Delphi is trying to reinvent itself. Over the last several years, it has shed almost all of its old operations, and begun acquiring and investing in high-tech businesses that in many ways are more like Intel than G.M.”