Superbosses – Wanting The Best!


There are many articles, books, and countless conversations of what traits create a great leader or what we’re calling a SuperBoss.

So what makes a Superboss? My research on Superbosses led me to a well-known academic and writer named Sydney Finkelstein, a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. In essence, a SuperBoss has a unique charter with, a limited ego and surrounds him or herself with the best talent, even if this talent is more refined or advanced than that of the boss. For the Superboss, the recruitment process starts by seeking out people with the highest intelligence, creativity, and flexibility. Creating a team of winners is the only priority. The Superboss job is to coordinate the team and create a spirit of camaraderie toward the same goals. A team’s success does not necessarily mean a commitment towards each other but towards the project at hand. It is also important to understand the teams competitiveness is not a bad thing, if managed effectively which can create better results.

There are also many studies of what not to do as a boss, and I’m sure we all have our opinions. To list some simple adjectives of bad bosses; incompetent, controlling delegator, indecisive type, always thinking they’re right, stubborn managers, talking change but are stagnant, micromanaging, fear tactics, lack of vision, favoritism, just to name a few.

To summarize horrible bosses are driven by emotions versus the facts, and this leads to low morale, reduced productivity, the inability to achieve goals, and the loss of good employees..

A great leader makes decisions by using data to back up his or her decisions. Bosses who fail to conduct a comprehensive review are running on emotions, which lead to poor decisions.

MPS/Malachy April 2016 Top

Workplaces talk about improvements, innovation, expansion, and profitability, but many cannot change the inner workings to achieve greater success. To generate results poor bosses may take an ax to management, staffing, policies and procedures but no matter what strategies are attempted, results continue, to spiral downward. There is no excuse for mediocre results. Tolerating mediocrity is an admission of failure.

Superbosses understand that smart, creative, flexible people tend to have fast-paced careers, your typical boss may say he or she is overqualified and would soon want to move on. A Superboss would embrace these individuals maximizing his or her knowledge and talent.

Mr. Finkelstein has categorized Superbosses into three styles of management. The first is the glorious bastard who cares only about winning but realizes the need to develop the best people. The second type is the Nurturer. This individual is the coach, teacher, and the mentor. This individual takes pride in bringing others along and cares deeply about the success of others. Lastly the Iconoclasts, This individual operates in creative fields where his or her inner passion inspires others. The fundamental characteristic of all three categories is each is not afraid to recruit and hire individual that have great wealth or talent.

As with any boss, it requires hands-on-leadership, but Superbosses have a distinct quality of having people do what they thought was impossible. Superbosses are masters and extremely efficient delegators. They have this ability chose smart, ambitious, adaptable people and offer them a vision and trust. Superbosses encourage and create steps for change and personal growth. They provide advancement opportunities far beyond those found in traditional organizations by customizing career paths. Lastly, they stay connected, even after team members move on, they continue networking and maintaining communications, giving advice and direction.

A Superboss has the personal confidence to recruit the best and understand a leap of faith is required. To the bosses that cannot move forward with hiring and retention of the best, it may be time to hire a third party consultant who can analyzes and articulates the pitfalls and bottlenecks within the organization. A fresh eye deep mussel comprehensive inner looking’s of the organization is just what may be required. As with any review or audit, how it is presented is important and should never be punitive but a step toward improvement.

The simplest way to describe a Superboss is a leader that does not have a strict management style, has the ability to adapt to situations, and does not allow personal insecurities to get in the way of making a good business decisions. Superbosses understand no matter the talent nurturing and motivating is an essential requirement with surrounding yourself with the best team. They are always seeking the best people and keeping staff focused and engaged..

Andrew Catalano resides in Maspeth, New York, and has worked in the hospitality service industry for over 30 years. Experiences with but not limited to; working with union and non-union operations, for-profit and not-for-profits in all segments of the industry; private ownership, corporate, education, and healthcare – (acute and LTC).  Andrew is an adjunct professor at CUNY and the Institute of Culinary Educations, and a certified instructor with the National Restaurant Association, holding an NYS teaching permit. As the owner principle of Strategic Management Consultants Andrew prides himself on offering fresh eye reviews for the service operator, from financial reviews,  management evaluations, labor optimization, marketing strategies, food safety, and employee training for both front line and management staff. Andrew holds a Master degree in Business Management, which gives him the refined skills to think through the problems, refine the vision, and plan next steps to improve the quality and value of an operation. Please contact Andrew Catalano at with your questions or to schedule a business review.