Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 8/15/17

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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 Steve Case, General Motors, Bahram Akradi, Airbus, and Bill Sandbrook.

From Craig Guillot: Former AOL CEO Steve Case Tells CEOs to Prepare for the Tech 3.0 Revolution

“Case says in his New York Times bestselling book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future, that we are entering a ‘new dawn of technology’ which will change virtually every aspect of business. Case recently spoke with Chief Executive about the coming tech 3.0 revolution and what CEOs should do to get ahead of the unparallelled digital changes in the coming years.”

From the Economist: General Motors is getting smaller but more profitable

“THE headquarters of General Motors (GM) tower over the other skyscrapers in Detroit’s city centre, a reminder that the carmaker still rules the American market. Yet GM’s domestic might increasingly contrasts with its position elsewhere in the world. Although most other carmakers see becoming ever bigger everywhere as the answer to the industry’s multiple challenges, GM is in retreat.”

From John Ewoldt: CEO Bahram Akradi says Life Time is ‘just scratching the surface’ of healthy living

“In the 25 years since Bahram Akradi founded Life Time, the company has come to embody the maxim that bigger is better. He’s bulked up its fleet of fitness centers to 127 across 27 states and Canada, with 14 more opening next year and another 100 expected in the next decade. Now privately held, Life Time projects revenue of about $1.6 billion in 2017 with 30,000 employees. But Akradi is looking far beyond fitness centers and recently dropped ‘fitness’ from the company name. He’s exploring healthy lifestyle villages where people shop, live, work, exercise, visit their doctor and relax at the spa. The strategy is playing out in the company’s hometown of Chanhassen, where it is investing in a mixed-use development, and at Southdale Center in Edina, where Life Time will build a showpiece fitness center.”

From McKinsey & Company: How Airbus is navigating a digital transformation

“The commercial aircraft manufacturer is charting a course to software and services, focusing on creating new data-driven models to complement its hardware platforms.”

From Wharton: What Leaders Gain by Listening Closely to Employees

“Bill Sandbrook is the president and CEO of U.S. Concrete. He is a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in management he spent 13 years in the U.S. Army, where he first developed his leadership skills. ‘The leaders who truly succeed are passionate about their responsibilities to the various constituencies that they interact with,’ he says in this interview with Knowledge@Wharton.”

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