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Superbosses: How Leaders Guide Generations of Success

Source | Linkedin | Daniel GolemanDaniel Goleman is an influencer | What Makes a Leader? Emotional and Social Intelligence

The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” –Steven Spielberg

You’ve likely encountered various leaders during your career–some with whom you worked well and others who were the impetus for leaving a job. Truly exceptional leaders–those whose brilliance in their field inspires the next generation of leaders–remain a rarity.

Sydney Finkelstein, Steven Roth Professor of Management at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, shares his research on exceptional mentors in the book Superbosses. Finkelstein’s research began with thousands of articles and hundreds of interviews, from which he identified eighteen definite superbosses and several dozen likely superbosses who became the subjects for his study. These leaders include Bill Walsh, George Lucas, Lorne Michaels, Miles Davis, Ralph Lauren, and Oprah.

Finkelstein defines “superbosses” as leaders whose success extends to a future generation of leaders they mentored. Leaders in many industries–from investment banking to professional football–have worked for the same well-known leaders. 

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