Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 9/17/19

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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 John Kramer, Kateri Moll Haskett, Daniel Zhang, Kim Lazerus, and Chris Barbin.

From Dale Buss: Cambridge Engineering Leaders Help Their People Matter

“Eleven years ago, John Kramer was the second-generation owner and CEO of Cambridge Engineering, which built industrial and retail HVAC systems. He’d risen through the sales ranks at his father’s company to the rank of president, but it was time for Kramer to put his own stamp on the future and direction of the mid-sized manufacturer based in Chesterfield, Missouri.”

From Barrett J. Brunsman: Haskett bookends her day with mind, body workouts

“Haskett, 49, said working out her mind and body before and after a day on the job keeps things in balance.”

From McKinsey & Company: Speak softly, make tough decisions: An interview with Alibaba Group chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang

“The chairman and CEO of China’s e-commerce giant describes Alibaba’s approach to innovation and how he balances analytics and instinct to push himself to spot hidden opportunities.”

From Billy Yost: Kim Lazerus Isn’t an HR Fixer-Upper—She’s a Builder

“Seasoned retail veteran Kim Lazerus on her past seven years building a successful human resources department at Maverik.”

From Adam Bryant: “There’s Way Too Much Happy Talk in Business.” Time for Real Transparency

“Chris Barbin’s experience is broad and deep. He was a co-founder and CEO of Appirio, an information technology consulting company that was acquired by Wipro, which named Barbin its chief culture officer until he left that role earlier this year. He is also a venture partner at GGV Capital. I first met Barbin seven years ago, and was eager to catch up with him to hear how his thinking about culture and teams had evolved. He shared many smart insights in our interview.”

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

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