Episode 188: Sydney Finkelstein – How To Be A SuperBoss

Sydney Finkelstein has published 20 books and 80 articles, with several bestsellers, including Why Smart Executives Fail. The Wall Street Journal called it “a marvel – a jargon-free business book based on serious research that offers genuine insights with clarity and sometimes even wit.” His latest book is SUPERBOSSES: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent. The result of a ten-year research project, Superbosses profiles leaders as diverse as Julian Robertson, Alice Waters, and Lorne Michaels who all have one thing in common – they helped spawn some of the best talent in their industries. The book describes what they did and how they did it, offering teachable lessons for leaders of any organization.

Professor Finkelstein is a consultant and speaker to senior executives around the globe, as well as an executive coach, focusing on leadership, talent development, corporate governance, learning from mistakes, and strategies for growth. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Management and listed on the “Thinkers 50”, the world’s most prestigious ranking of leadership gurus. He has been featured in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Business Week, the London Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, Inc, Fast Company, and CNBC, and is a regular columnist for the BBC.

Episode 188: Sydney Finkelstein – How To Be A SuperBoss

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The Learning Leader Show

“Confidence is the prerequisite to greatness.”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Common themes of the best leaders:
    • Curiosity – Always looking for answers
    • Courage to go after opportunities
    • They understand in order to be successful, you must help others be successful
  • People who are unconsciously incompetent =
    • Not curious – They think they have all the answers
    • Unwillingness to learn
  • Superboss = Someone who helps others
  • Bill Walsh – A bigger coaching tree than any other coach… Why?
    • 1st coach to understand talent well
    • Created a development program for African American coaches
    • He would call other owners and tell them to hire one of his assistants… He helped his people leave him for bigger jobs
    • The best people seek these types of leaders
  • Why is this so rare?
    • Most think of ways to retain their talent instead of help promote them. This is wrong.
    • You cannot control what other people do.
    • Create an environment that makes people want to work for you. Help them.
  • The difference between a male and female boss
  • What do Superbosses do?
    • They create master-apprentice relationships — Leonardo DaVinci
    • 1 on 1 conversations with your boss
    • Find someone who will invest time in you and your career. Be that person if you are a boss
    • Create opportunities for your people
    • When you delegate, be hands on with the feedback. Be direct and involved to help
  • Encourage collegiality and simultaneously drive internal competition: Sydney describes how to do this
    • Lorne Michaels creates this at Saturday Night Live
  • Think about the best bossses you’ve worked for… Why were they the best?
    • What worked for them? For you?
    • Then ask… Am I doing those things? How am I making it work for those who work for me? Each person is unique. Understand that
    • Learn from your own personal experience
  • Using a “Get To Know You” document every year. Personally invest in getting to know your people

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer – Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

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Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

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