Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 8/28/18

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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 Wegmans, McDonald’s, SwanLeap, Williams Sonoma, and Best Buy.

From Pam Danziger: Wegmans’ Love Affair with Customers

“Wegmans Food Markets, the Rochester-based regional grocery chain, with a reported $8.3 billion in sales, knows which side its bread is buttered on: in its 90 stores. Wegmans is more than just a good place to shop and work. It is hands down the most beloved supermarket in the country among its customers and employees.”

From Jonathan Ringen: The inside story of how McDonald’s innovated the Quarter Pounder

“In a change that has been as seismic for McDonald’s as the drive-through window in 1975, McDonald’s has reintroduced its signature burger with fresh—never frozen—beef. And that’s just the start.”

From Jeff Bercovici: How SwanLeap, ‘the eBay of Freight,’ Became the No. 1 Fastest-Growing Company in America in Just 5 Years

“Brad Hollister had an idea to revolutionize the excruciatingly complex world of shipping logistics, until a call with his top customer made him realize he was going about it all wrong. But the company he launched instead is working out pretty well.”

From Warren Shoulberg: Williams Sonoma: Nobody Does It Better

“In perhaps every single area of retailing performance – in-store experience, online market penetration, distinctive merchandise offerings, channel segmentation, services, backroom operations – the retailer is leading the pack. And its financial performance isn’t too shabby either. While RH gets points for its upscale transformation and the Home Goods unit of TJX has redefined the entire home furnishings shopping channel (to its advantage), no other retailer is doing it all the way Sonoma is.”

From Jackie Crosby: Gen Z? Nah. Best Buy makes an $800M investment in an aging America

“It is the first acquisition for Best Buy since Hubert Joly became CEO in 2012 and moves the company squarely into the aging and health services space.”

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

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