Friday Read: “Superbosses” by Sydney Finkelstein

In Sydney Finkelstein’s book, “Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent,” highly successful entrepreneurs share their stories of finding and helping develop promising employees. The difference, Finkelstein shows, between a good boss and a “super” boss is that while a good boss hires and leads a team to success, a super boss will nurture the talent inherent in the team they have and eventually watch that talent expand.

That means letting go of employees. I know, I hear you screaming, “IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING, LET IT GO!” That’s the same idea. When you discover a mountain spring, you dig around the source, widening the opening and letting more and more fresh, cool water come forward. But you won’t share that life-giving force with anyone by keeping it dammed up. You have to let go and watch it flow and spread and carry on on its own.

In a way, a superboss doesn’t just stop at having a team: a superboss builds an empire. They are not out for themselves. They find individuals who stand out and take them under their wing in a three step process.

1. The Master and Apprentice relationship. Apprentices were originally young boys or girls who were sent to study a trade with a mentor. They lived with the master, almost adopted in a way into their family. The master provided wisdom, discipline, and helped the apprentice every step of the way until the apprentice could one day be a master on their own.

2. The “Cohort Effect.” Rather than making employees treat each other as stepping stones, a superboss encourages people to challenge and push each other to succeed. They act more like a human pyramid than a ladder and in that way, some shine especially bright, but they owe their success to everyone else.

3. Saying Goodbye. Really, it should be “Saying See You Soon” and not “Goodbye,” since the later implies that you’ll never see the employee again. This part of the relationship is where the employee and the superboss part ways. But a true superboss remains in touch with the former employee, building on that relationship and forming a stronger and longer lasting bond. The success flows from one group to another and on and on.

The stories in the book come from individuals like Lorne Michaels, Julian Petersan, Cay Chiat and Alice Walters and provide everyone’s unique perspective on the same super-being: The SuperBoss!


Better Communication in 10 Steps!

This week, we’ve been covering the art of better communication in the professional sphere. Just a couple decades ago, people were speaking with eloquence and clarity that today is largely overlooked. Words are punctuated to clusters of letters or slang, and in the professional working world, you end up sounding like a child. Get out of the sandbox and learn how to communicate!

Get SMART With Your Goals

Few things in this life as as satisfying as the feeling of accomplishment. That mix of relief and pride is euphoric, isn’t it? Crossing the finish line, sealing the deal with a firm handshake, hearing others ooh and aah over an award you hold in your hands: nothing tops that.

Setting goals is actually much easier than most people believe. If you want to open your own shop or you want to get a promotion at your work, the idea seems daunting. But that’s only because at this point in time, it’s just an idea, an intangible concept and without a set plan, yes, it feels like something you can’t actually achieve. It’s like wanting to go to travel the country, but you don’t even have a road map. Here we’ve set out a few tips for that trip.

First, you want to be realistic with yourself. What is your goal? WILL you actually try to achieve it? Do you have the time and the interest to invest in the challenges because it’s not going to be easy. You can gain the skills and resources along the way, but if you’re not 100% committed, you may as well quit now.

So be specific. Identify your goal by answering the question “What do you want to achieve?” Not just “What do you want?” We all want health and wealth, but you need to think about what specifically you want to do. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to have a certain amount of money in your bank account by retirement? Start broad, but just keep a specific goal in mind.

Saying “I want to walk a mile a day” is more specific than “Walk more.” Deciding to take a business class is more specific than wanting to learn about business.

Your goals should be measurable. Break down your ultimate long-term goal into simple short-term goals that you can achieve one at a time and you will be able to keep track of. Writing your goals is a great way to measure your progress because it makes them “real” and harder to forget.

You can write your goals and plan on a calendar, in a list, using an app or making a spreadsheet. Then, as you accomplish each step, you can cross them out. You’ll see your progress and it will keep you motivated!

Make sure your goals are even attainable. Do you have the funds to open a business? If not, do you know how to get funding? Is this the best move for you right now?

They should be relevant, too. It’s all well and good to want to open your own yoga studio, but if you don’t even like yoga, then what’s the point? Your goal should also in some way make you happy and fulfilled. If you’re not going to be happy once you reach your goal, then it wasn’t relevant.

Your goal should be time-bound. Give yourself a time frame you can stick to, but be flexible. As you accomplish or don’t accomplish each step, you need to be able to change your plan to stay on track.

When you do accomplish your goal, go ahead and celebrate! Do a dance, pop some bottles, but the most important part is to not stop! Set the next goal and keep moving forward. Because really, there is no “end” to your goals. Continue on, keep improving, keep learning, and keep expanding.

Happy goal setting!


Monkey Business

Guess what day it is? Yes, Monday, we’ve heard it all before. But it’s also a very special holiday in the Chinese culture. It’s the start of the New Lunar Year and this year is the year of the monkey!

In Chinese astrology, there are twelve different zodiac animals and each year is attributed to one animal. This year, the monkey reigns. Whatever year you are born, your life, personality, career, and relationships are tied with the characteristics of the current zodiac animal. People born in the year of the ox are stubborn and methodical. People born in the year of the tiger are passionate and make strong leaders. In honor of the holiday, we thought it might be interesting to point out some characteristics of your standard run-of-the-mill “monkey.”


The typical “monkey” is smart, witty and have a magnetic personality. People are drawn to their outgoing personality. Monkeys are also very mischievous, like their animal counterparts. But those little practical jokes may go too far and if someone is offended, the monkey might feel like they are being misunderstood. When around large crowds, the monkey’s moods can change quickly from cheerful and energetic to withdrawn and subdued. They are also very good at reading others’ emotions which makes them very easy to get along with.


Monkeys are driven by impulse. If something seems interesting to them like an idea or a new project, they will eagerly jump on board. This sort of impulsive approach could mean that they either meet moments of success or crash and burn and must learn from their mistakes. A monkey finds it hard to focus on doing one thing and doing it well: they have the energy and enthusiasm to pursue several projects, but this is often a mistake. Ever hear the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none?” That’s a monkey who is trying to do too much. If they settle into one career long-term, they are often very successful and can advance their careers quickly!

Best Careers for Monkeys:

Accountants, Directors, Engineers, Air Traffic Controllers, Sales Representatives


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