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

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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 Sir George Buckley, Erika Nardini, Seth Birnbaum, Jane Chen, and Indra Nooyi.

From Adam Gale: Sir George Buckley: From Sheffield slum to CEO of 3M

“I grew up in Pitsmoor, a slum district in Sheffield, after my parents left me with my grandmother, who was crippled and had no money. My school wasn’t exactly designed to give an elite education, so I left at 15 without any qualifications. I ended up running one of the great corporations of the world. It just proves God has a sense of humour, though I never figured out whether he was pulling my leg or everyone else’s.”

From Adam Bryant: Erika Nardini on the Value of Leading ‘10 Percent’ Players

“The 90 percent players are superdependable. They work hard every day, and they’re amenable to whatever you want to do. And the 10 percent people may not be great 90 percent of the time, but 10 percent of the time they’re genius, and they’re genius at the moment that matters.”

From Joel Trammell: CEO Interview: Seth Birnbaum, EverQuote

“Seth Birnbaum is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of EverQuote, the largest online auto insurance marketplace in the U.S. He provided some good advice about transitioning from engineering to the CEO role. His transition included learning the importance of developing a people-focused culture: He thinks of himself as part cruise director and greatly enjoys working with millennials. Seth also advised that every business should be doing marketing and advertising based on data science.”

From Jennifer Luna: Jane Chen: Be Courageous Because You Will Fail

“The CEO of Embrace Innovations explains the most important skill for a successful entrepreneur.”

From Andrew Saunders: How to lead like Indra Nooyi

“The CEO of PepsiCo is one of the most senior businesswomen on the planet. Here’s how to drink her Kool-Aid.”

Wally’s Comment: This is an excellent article about a thoughtful CEO and how she works Whoever wrote the teaser copy for this article is guilty of editorial malpractice. Kool-Aid is a fine product, but Pepsi doesn’t make it, Kraft does. And “drinking the Kool-Aid” usually means succumbing to peer pressure and doing something you know is bad for you. The teaser copy appears to be an attempt to be clever, rather than give a sense of what the piece is about.

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