Recruiting and motivating large networks of star employees is important, if you're going to be the next president.
With this in mind--and with Super Tuesday around the corner--I reached out to leadership expert Sydney Finkelstein. His recently released book, Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent, profiles leaders in various industries--from entertainment to football to food to software--for their abilities to cultivate massive networks of talent.
Having already read the book and shared some of its hiring tips, I knew Finkelstein, professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, gave Hillary Clinton high marks as a superboss, especially for her ability to develop a vast network of talent. But what did he think of Donald Trump?
Trump, despite the public's fascination with him as a business leader and a potential president, does not score high marks as a superboss, in Finkelstein's view--though, to be sure, he does exhibit a few superboss traits. Trump has the ability to energize a crowd with his vision. He is competitive. And he possesses extreme confidence, to the point of fearlessness. But Trump falls short as a superboss, notes Finkelstein, when it comes to making room for other people in his organization to shine.
A superboss, he notes, crafts a vision and is open to all sorts of ideas from outsiders about how to fulfill that vision. In spite of their large egos, superbosses will encourage feedback from anyone, at anytime. For the superboss, the vision is first--not their place in the hierarchy. Based on his observations of Trump, Finkelstein believes Trump is more focused on himself than he is the fulfillment of a vision or the cultivation of a talent network. "It seems like he needs to soak up all of the air around him," says Finkelstein. "And what happens when you do that is, you don't develop great people."
"To me, Trump is running a family business, and not a real organization," he adds. "This is not how you build a team. There's a big difference with Hillary Clinton who has, for better or worse, this gigantic network."