What could you learn from ‘Superbosses’ by Sydney Finkelstein? (2016, 220 pages)

While the definition and even the concept of leadership remain contested, it is clear that some individuals are widely considered to be exceptional leaders. What separates these leaders who leave their mark on the world, with the countless others who vanish with little or no trace?

In ‘Superbosses’ Sydney Finkelstein argues that exceptional leaders (superbosses) leave their mark by building a network of followers who go on to become exceptional leaders in their own right. The book then explains why superbosses are different and how they transform their followers.

Sydney divides superbosses into three types:

  1. Iconoclast – driven by the love of the craft/idea
  2. Inglorious Bastard – driven by a love of winning
  3. Nurtures – driven by the love of their followers

Sydney also argues that each superboss has three characteristics:

  1. Extream confidence
  2. Competitiveness
  3. Imagination

Sydney explains that it is these motivations and characteristics, combined with an ‘uncharacteristic openness’ and leadership style of ‘hands on delegation’, which enable superbosses to enable their followers to grow and achieve exceptional things.

Superbosses will help anyone who is interested in developing their followers to become exceptional leaders.

Sydney Finklestein web page

Amazon link – Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent

Other interesting points made in the book are:

  • If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room
  • Superbosses set out an exciting vision and then tell people how they precisely fit into that vision
  • Superbosses allow you to fail once, as long as you do not fail again in the same way
  • For superbosses, it is fine not to know something if the next thing you do is find out
  • Superbosses love feedback