Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 8/20/19

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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 Michele Buck, Meghann Chilcott, James Daunt, Doug Conant, and Fred Smith.

From Tony Bingham and Pat Galagan: Unleashing Talent at Hershey

“As the Hershey Company’s first female CEO in its 125-year history, Michele Buck epitomizes change and seeks it out. Her preference for distributed leadership and her company-wide listening sessions help engage the Hershey workforce in moving toward the future. We interviewed Buck at the company’s headquarters in Hershey, Pennsylvania.”

From Chris Erickson: CIO’s love of tech started with a Commodore 64

“Meghann Chilcott, chief technology and marketing officer for Benzer Pharmacy, is a Tampa Bay CIO of the Year honoree.”

From Justin Bariso: Barnes and Noble’s New CEO Just Revealed a Brilliant Plan to Save the Company

“After turning around Britain’s largest bookstore, many are hoping James Daunt can do the same for Barnes and Noble.”

From Chief Executive: Turnaround Tips From Comeback King Doug Conant, Fmr. Campbells CEO

“No stranger to overcoming adversity, Doug Conant is best known for stepping in to save Campbell’s, the nation’s iconic soup company, from seemingly certain demise. But he also played a significant role helping post-LBO Nabisco regroup and surmounted his share of personal setbacks during a career that spanned stints at consumer packaged good companies General Mills and Kraft. Chief Executive recently had the opportunity to talk with Conant about tactics and tips he’s amassed over the course of his action-packed career. Excerpts of that conversation follow.”

From the Economist: FedEx’s visionary founder is a disrupter at risk of disruption

“FOR OUTSIDERS, FedEx is synonymous with the business it pioneered: the overnight delivery of packages. For insiders, it might just as well be called FredEx. It is virtually indistinguishable from its founder, Fred Smith, who has been boss since 1971. The 75-year-old, who came up with his idea for air freighting packages at Yale University, is the stuff of folklore. Some of it is apocryphal, such as the story that he got a C at Yale for a paper outlining his idea (he can’t recall the grade). But one tale is, if anything, too good to check. In its early days, as the firm flirted with bankruptcy, he saved it with a lucky wager at a blackjack table in Las Vegas.”

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

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