Leadership and Strategy in Real Life: 1/17/17

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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 Yolk, Taki Kastanis, Sears, Eddie Lampert, Apple, and Ronaldinho.

From Samantha Bomkamp: Yolk’s owner considers smaller-scale, ‘express’ versions of breakfast chain

“Yolk founder Taki Kastanis tried to do something different with his life than the generations before him. But the family business — restaurants — kept luring him back. After a childhood spent under counters at his grandmother’s restaurant in Lakeview, in adulthood he felt the pull to start one of his own. He opened his first restaurant at age 21 and opened the first Yolk in downtown Chicago in 2006. The breakfast chain, known for its cheery yellow walls and abundant menu, has now grown to 10 locations in Chicago, Indianapolis and Dallas/Fort Worth. Kastanis, now 39, sees at least another 30 on the horizon, and he’s also considering the development of some smaller restaurants to appeal to commuters and other folks on the go. He discussed Yolk’s popularity and plans for the future in a recent interview with the Tribune. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.”

From Hayley Peterson: Inside Sears’ death spiral: How an iconic American brand has been driven to the edge of bankruptcy

“Lampert, a former Wall Street prodigy, took control of Sears more than a decade ago and became its CEO in 2013. But he’s rarely seen in the office, typically visiting about once a year for the shareholder meeting and projecting into videoconference rooms at Sears’ Hoffman Estates, Illinois, headquarters the rest of the time, according to interviews with employees. He prefers to stay on Indian Creek Island, off the coast of Miami, behind a desk dressed up with the Sears logo. The island has been dubbed the ‘billionaire bunker,’ partly because of a private police force that protects the island’s 86 residents.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Christopher Mims: Why Apple’s Critics Are Right This Time

“Almost since the birth of Apple Inc., critics have declared it was headed in the wrong direction.”

From Ronaldinho: Letter to My Younger Self

“Think about what Dad said, to play free and to just play with the ball. Play with joy. This is something that many coaches will not understand, but when you are on the pitch, you will never calculate. Everything will come naturally. Before you have time to think, your feet have already made a decision. Creativity will take you further than calculation.”

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