Superbosses Book Summary - Superbosses Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

Superbosses summary

Sydney Finkelstein

How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent

4.1 (25 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein explores the leadership methods of successful bosses that inspire their teams to become exceptionally creative and productive, ultimately creating more leaders rather than just followers.

Table of Contents

    Superbosses
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Superbosses come in three shades: iconoclasts, inglorious bastards and nurturers.

    What does an iconoclast, an “inglorious bastard” and a nurturer have in common? These are all types of “superbosses.” Each type has a strength, and each can inspire workers in different ways.

    Let’s start with iconoclasts. Their unwavering focus on their vision makes them easy to identify. An iconoclast’s ability to teach and share is a knock-on effect of the type’s unwavering dedication. In sum, iconoclasts inspire without even intending to!

    Jazz great Miles Davis, for example, collaborated with young musicians to keep his creative juices flowing. While his goal wasn’t necessarily to help younger talents improve, he still was known as a great teacher.

    Inglorious bastards, on the other hand, are characterized by their drive to win. They aspire to greatness and will do whatever is necessary to get there, even if it means pushing people out of the way.

    To achieve such goals, however, inglorious bastards need a top-notch support team. Employees are pushed to perform at their peak, as failure is not an option. Through this, workers learn a lot.

    Inglorious bastards can push their teams to extremes. Oracle founder Larry Ellison is known for management by ridicule. He scares his employees to push them to succeed! While such a strategy seems draconian, it works for Oracle. In fact, Ellison was recently nominated by the magazine BusinessWeek as one of the industry’s most competitive individuals.

    And on the other side, nurturers are bosses who care and want to see employees grow. We can also call them activist bosses, as they’re always ready to guide team members to ensure they thrive.

    Star restaurateur Norman Brinker was known for his nurturing management style. He genuinely loved watching employees improve; today some 18 of his former team members are heads of major restaurant chains.

    So how can each type of superboss take your career to the next level? We’ll find out in the next blinks.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Superbosses?

    Key ideas in Superbosses

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Superbosses about?

    Superbosses (2016) is the insider’s guide to understanding how charismatic, often controversial but unforgettable leaders tick. These blinks reveal the patterns and strategies of top-performing bosses, and explain how you can help your employees succeed by becoming a superboss yourself!

    Superbosses Review

    Superbosses (2016) explores the unique qualities that set exceptional leaders apart and offers valuable lessons on how to cultivate talent and create a lasting impact. Here's why this book is definitely worth a read:

    • With compelling case studies and interviews, it sheds light on the strategies used by successful bosses, providing actionable insights for aspiring leaders.
    • The book emphasizes the importance of nurturing and developing employees, showcasing how this approach leads to exceptional performance and loyalty.
    • By exploring the unconventional methods employed by super bosses, it challenges traditional leadership paradigms and offers a fresh perspective on effective management.

    Who should read Superbosses?

    • Leaders struggling to improve business performance
    • Employees curious about what makes a good boss
    • Managers seeking strategies to encourage teamwork

    About the Author

    Sydney Finkelstein is a specialist in business leadership and strategy and has published 19 books, including Why Smart Executives Fail (2003) and Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep It from Happening to You (2009). Finkelstein is also the Steven Roth Professor of Management and faculty director at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

    Categories with Superbosses

    Book summaries like Superbosses

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Superbosses FAQs 

    What is the main message of Superbosses?

    The main message of Superbosses is that great leaders create other great leaders.

    How long does it take to read Superbosses?

    The reading time for Superbosses varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Superbosses a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Superbosses is a valuable read for anyone interested in leadership development. It provides insights into how exceptional bosses cultivate talent and achieve outstanding results.

    Who is the author of Superbosses?

    Sydney Finkelstein is the author of Superbosses.

    What to read after Superbosses?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Superbosses, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman
    • Multipliers by Liz Wiseman
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz
    • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
    • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Grow the Pie by Alex Edmans
    • 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think by Brianna Wiest
    • The Power of Unwavering Focus by Dandapani
    • The Motivation Code by Todd Henry with Ron Penner