Superbosses aren't like most bosses.

Position:Book review

From Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein. Copyright [c] 2016 by the author. Published by Portfolio/Penguin (


In 2005, I embarked on a full-blown research project, scouring business, sports, fashion, and the arts to find potential superbosses and map out their genealogical trees. In the end, I spent 10 years conducting more than 200 interviews; sifting through thousands of articles, books, monographs, and oral histories; and writing three dozen case studies in the most extensive and rigorous research project of its kind. I compiled, dissected, and analyzed stories about the lives and careers of 18 primary superbosses: Lome Michaels, Ralph Lauren, Jay Chiat, Larry Ellison, Bill Walsh, Jorma Panula, Bob Noyce, Bill Sanders, Miles Davis, Michael Milken, Michael Miles, Alice Waters, Norman Brinker, Roger Corman, Julian Robertson, Gene Roberts, George Lucas, and Tommy Frist.

Looking for recurring themes and patterns, I discovered that superbosses differ considerably in their interpersonal styles; but the ways in which they identify, motivate, coach and leverage others are remarkably consistent, highly unconventional, and unmistakably powerful.

Superbosses aren't...

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