By Sydney Finkelstein
There are great bosses, and then there are superbosses. Great bosses deliver solid performance and build well-functioning teams. Superbosses deliver exceptional performance. They build billion-dollar companies, transform entire industries, and become living legends. And they do it by mastering the flow of talent through their organizations, training a disproportionate share of the top talent in their industries.
I spent a decade identifying and studying dozens of superbosses, including food innovator Alice Waters, hedge fund guru Julian Robertson, and packaged food legend Michael Miles. As I found, these extraordinary leaders were known in their industries not merely for their innovation and financial success, but for spawning a generation of leaders. Waters’ protégés, for instance, include a “who’s who” of top chefs globally, including Paul Bertolli, Joyce Goldstein, and Jeremiah Tower. Leaders trained by Michael Miles included the CEOs of Campbell’s Soup, Mattel, and Nabisco. Robertson, a billionaire himself, counts several billionaires among his protégés, including hedge fund managers Chase Coleman, Lee Ainslie, and Andreas Halvorsen.