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About Sydney Finkelstein
Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he teaches courses on Leadership and Strategy. He is also the Faculty Director of the flagship Tuck Executive Program, and has experience working with executives at a number of other prestigious universities around the world. He holds degrees from Concordia University and the London School of Economics, as well as a Ph.D. from Columbia University in strategic management.
Sydney has published 20 books and 80 articles, with several bestsellers, including the #1 bestseller in the U.S. and Japan, Why Smart Executives Fail. Based on a six-year study of 51 companies and 200 interviews of business leaders, the book identifies the fundamental reasons why major mistakes happen, points out the early warning signals that are critical for investors and managers alike, and offers ideas on how organizations can develop a capability of learning from corporate mistakes. On Fortune Magazine’s list of Best Business Books, the Wall Street Journal called it “a marvel – a jargon-free business book based on serious research that offers genuine insights with clarity and sometimes even wit … It should be required reading not just for executives but for investors as well.” It has also been featured in media around the world and has been translated into 12 languages.
His latest book, to be published, out Feb 9, 2016, is SUPERBOSSES: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent. Once again he has undertaken extensive research over a ten year period of some of the most intriguing business leaders in the world who all have one thing in common – they helped develop the best talent in their industry sectors, who in turn helped them become the legendary successes they are today. What they did, and how they did it, is shared via fascinating profiles and seven management practices that separate the best bosses from the merely good ones. LinkedIn Chairman Reid Hoffman calls it “a leadership guide for the Networked Age,” while Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, says “Superbosses gives leaders a playbook to bring out the best in their people.”
Sydney is a Fellow of the Academy of Management, and has had three books nominated for the Academy of Management’s Terry Book Award, the most prestigious such honor in the field. He is a recognized thought leader on leadership, strategy, and corporate governance, and is listed on the “Thinkers 50,” the most prominent ranking of management thinkers in the world. He is well known for his keynote speeches and television appearances, and is a regular columnist for the BBC. He has worked as a consultant and speaker for major companies around the world.
To stay up-to-date on Professor Finkelstein's latest insights on leadership and decision-making, follow him on Twitter @sydfinkelstein.
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Two years later, the company is in flames, the pension plan is bleeding, the stock is worthless. What goes wrong in these cases? Usually it seems that top management made some incredibly stupid mistakes. But the people responsible are almost always remarkably intelligent and usually have terrific track records. Just as puzzling as the fact that brilliant managers can make bad mistakes is the way they so often magnify the damage. Once a company has made a serious mis-step, it often seems as though it can't do anything right. How does this happen? Instead of rectifying their mistakes, why do business leaders regularly make them worse?
To answer these questions, Sydney Finkelstein has carried out the largest research project ever devoted to corporate mistakes and failures. In WHY SMART EXECUTIVES FAIL, he and his research team uncover-with startling clarity and unassailable documentation-the causes regularly responsible for major business breakdowns. He relates the stories of great business disasters and demonstrates that there are specific, identifiable ways in which many businesses regularly make themselves vulnerable to failure. The result is a truly indispensable, practical, must-read book that explains the mechanics of business failure, how to avoid them, and what to do if they happen.
In his defining work on emotional intelligence, bestselling author Daniel Goleman found that it is twice as important as other competencies in determining outstanding leadership.
If you read nothing else on emotional intelligence, read these 10 articles by experts in the field. We’ve combed through hundreds of articles in the Harvard Business Review archive and selected the most important ones to help you boost your emotional skills—and your professional success.
This book will inspire you to:
- Monitor and channel your moods and emotions
- Make smart, empathetic people decisions
- Manage conflict and regulate emotions within your team
- React to tough situations with resilience
- Better understand your strengths, weaknesses, needs, values, and goals
- Develop emotional agility
This collection of articles includes: “What Makes a Leader” by Daniel Goleman, “Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance” by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, “Why It’s So Hard to Be Fair” by Joel Brockner, “Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions” by Andrew Campbell, Jo Whitehead, and Sydney Finkelstein, “Building the Emotional Intelligence of Groups” by Vanessa Urch Druskat and Steve B. Wolff, “The Price of Incivility: Lack of Respect Hurts Morale—and the Bottom Line” by Christine Porath and Christine Pearson, “How Resilience Works” by Diane Coutu, “Emotional Agility: How Effective Leaders Manage Their Negative Thoughts and Feelings” by Susan David and Christina Congleton, “Fear of Feedback” by Jay M. Jackman and Myra H. Strober, and “The Young and the Clueless” by Kerry A. Bunker, Kathy E. Kram, and Sharon Ting.
Fundamental frameworks for emotional intelligence and how to apply them every day.
According to research by Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence has proved to be twice as important as other competencies in determining outstanding leadership. It is now one of the crucial criteria in hiring and promotion processes, performance evaluations, and professional development courses. And it's not innate--it's a skill that all of us can improve.
With this double volume you'll get HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence and the HBR Guide to Emotional Intelligence. That's 10 definitive HBR articles on emotional intelligence by Goleman and other leaders in the field, curated by our editors--paired with smart, focused advice from HBR experts about how to implement those ideas in your daily work life.
With Everyday Emotional Intelligence, you'll learn how to:
- Recognize your own EQ strengths and weaknesses
- Regulate your emotions in tough situations
- Manage difficult people
- Build the social awareness of your team
- Motivate yourself through ups and downs
- Write forceful emails people won't misinterpret
- Make better, less emotionally biased decisions
- Help an employee develop emotional intelligence
- Handle specific situations like crying at work and tense communications across different cultures
Sydney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell show how the usually beneficial processes of the human mind can become traps when we face big decisions. The authors show how the shortcuts our brains have learned to take over millennia of evolution can derail our decision making. Think Again offers a powerful model for making better decisions, describing the key red flags to watch for and detailing the decision-making safeguards we need.
Using examples from business, politics, and history, Think Again deconstructs bad decisions, as they unfolded in real time, to show how you can avoid the same fate.
Superbosses explained how industry legends like football coach Bill Walsh, television executive Lorne Michaels, restaurateur Alice Waters, and fashion pioneer Ralph Lauren find, nurture, and lead employees. Now, The Superbosses Playbook shows readers how to apply the tactics of these "superbosses" in their own organizations.
The Superbosses Playbook features assessments, case studies, and exercises designed to help anyone recruit talent, lead performance, inspire teams, and even part with great people like a true superboss. For instance, Finkelstein includes assessments of your superboss score and templates for interviewing and evaluating new hires.
This workbook will help you learn and apply the secrets of iconic business leaders.
“Maybe you’re a decent boss. But are you a superboss? That’s the question you’ll be asking yourself after reading Sydney Finkelstein’s fascinating book. By revealing the secrets of superbosses from finance to fashion and from cooking to comic books, Finkelstein offers a smart, actionable playbook for anyone trying to become a better leader.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
A fascinating exploration of the world’s most effective bosses—and how they motivate, inspire, and enable others to advance their companies and shape entire industries, by the author of How Smart Executives Fail. A must-read for anyone interested in leadership and building an enduring pipeline of talent.
What do football coach Bill Walsh, restauranteur Alice Waters, television executive Lorne Michaels, technology CEO Larry Ellison, and fashion pioneer Ralph Lauren have in common? On the surface, not much, other than consistent success in their fields. But below the surface, they share a common approach to finding, nurturing, leading, and even letting go of great people. The way they deal with talent makes them not merely success stories, not merely organization builders, but what Sydney Finkelstein calls superbosses.
After ten years of research and more than two hundred interviews, Finkelstein—an acclaimed professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, speaker, and executive coach and consultant—discovered that superbosses exist in nearly every industry. If you study the top fifty leaders in any field, as many as one-third will have once worked for a superboss.
While superbosses differ in their personal styles, they all focus on identifying promising newcomers, inspiring their best work, and launching them into highly successful careers—while also expanding their own networks and building stronger companies. Among the practices that distinguish superbosses:
They Create Master-Apprentice Relationships.
Superbosses customize their coaching to what each protégé really needs, and also are constant founts of practical wisdom. Advertising legend Jay Chiat not only worked closely with each of his employees but would sometimes extend their discussions into the night.
They Rely on the Cohort Effect.
Superbosses strongly encourage collegiality even as they simultaneously drive internal competition. At Lorne Michaels’s Saturday Night Live, writers and performers are judged by how much of their material actually gets on the air, but they can’t get anything on the air without the support of their coworkers.
They Say Good-Bye on Good Terms.
Nobody likes it when great employees quit, but superbosses don’t respond with anger or resentment. They know that former direct reports can become highly valuable members of their network, especially as they rise to major new roles elsewhere. Julian Robertson, the billionaire hedge fund manager, continued to work with and invest in his former employees who started their own funds.
Companies that purposefully set out to excel are remarkably few and far between.
The number of those who have a strong, well-thought out strategy for success are even fewer.
Based on five years of research and field-testing, Breakout Strategy gives you a “fast track” strategic vision that can push your company to incredible new rates of growth and expansion. Strategy and leadership experts Sydney Finkelstein, Charles Harvey, and Thomas Lawton show how to craft a strategy that fits your business, whether you're a small start-up or an established national or international company. They also give you the tools to adapt that strategy as you grow and expand. Their system features five key initiatives:
- Create a workable vision by understanding the needs and aspirations of a company
- Face customers with a value proposition that covers all the important bases
- Align what a business does with what the customer truly desires
- Balance the people and process sides of business to deliver on promises
- Liberate the energies of any strategy's toughest critic-those who work within the business
Breakout Strategy puts these initiatives in context by examining how diverse companies achieved breakout growth, including jetBlue, Harley Davidson, and Starbucks. It also sheds light on how a poor strategy can topple a once-successful company off the pedestal of market dominance, such as Krispy Kreme's overly ambitious expansion strategy that stretched the company and the brand too thin.
With the systematic approach in Breakout Strategy, you'll be able to travel the fast track to market triumph, leaving your competitors struggling to catch up.