Review: Superbosses 9781591847830

Review: Superbosses 9781591847830

LIQ_Mag_Mar2016_Cover_finalThis book review first appeared in the March 2016 issue of Life in Québec Magazine and on Quebec news and information portal LifeinQuebec.com.

It is reproduced here with their kind permission.

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Title: Superbosses – How Exceptional Leaders Nurture Talent to Achieve Market Domination
Author: Sydney Finklestein
ISBN: 9781591847830
Price: $36.00
Publisher: Portfolio

Review by Mark Lindenberg

Superbosses, like many management books, is about best practices. If you’re a line employee, you might want the kinds of opportunities and responsibilities that superbosses can lavish on their protégés. If you’re a supervisor, you might wonder how to create an environment in which your supervisees can thrive, inside a workplace with rigid hierarchies.

Using anecdotal research drawn from interviews and other sources, Sydney Finklestein, a Canadian-born, Concordia-educated Dartmouth College management professor, describes the superboss. How do the actions and reactions of a superboss differ from those of more traditional bosses? Why does a superboss do what they do? When can such traits be most useful? Who are the superbosses? Alice Waters’ story is a well-developed example of women in such roles, Stephen Colbert’s, a clear progression from employee, to protégé, to potential superboss, and Larry Ellison’s the most extreme. What might be expected of you, if you report to a superboss? That’s covered, too.

The last chapter provides some questions to help discover superbosses, manage like one, and nurture a superboss culture, while acknowledging that many organizations have processes, structures and mindsets that work against creative thinking. And that’s the challenge for Finklestein’s audience: How will you move from best practices to buy-in, not only across departments, but across organizations?

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