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Secrets of Superbosses


When you look at the top people in a given industry, you often find that many of those front-runners once worked for the same wellknown leader. In the National Football League (NFL), 20 of 32 head coaches trained under coach Bill Walsh or someone in his coaching tree. Dozens of top hedge fund managers got their start under Julian Robertson of Tiger Management. Nine of Larry Ellison's top executives became CEOs, COOs, or chairs of other companies. The list goes on: Jay Chiat, Alice Waters, Bob Noyce, Lorne Michaels, and Mary Kay Ash are known for grooming extraordinary people who became leaders in their fields. After conducting deep research into the practices of these Superbosses, Tuck professor Finkelstein found similarities in their people strategies. In hiring, they focus oni ntelligence, creativity, and flexibility; look for unconventional talent; and adapt roles and even organizations to suit people. In development, they set high expectations, build master-apprentice relationships, and encourage fast, step-change growth. All of us can borrow from their playbook to improve our own ability to identify and hone talent. To read the full "Secrets of Superbosses" article in the Harvard Business Review by Sydney Finkelstein click here.

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