Is Jon Stewart the Greatest Boss in America?
What is the single most important information you need to know before you accept that job?
The correct answer is,
“Who is the boss?”
Mediocre bosses ruin what is, on paper, an ideal job. On the other hand, a great boss can take even a modest beginning and spin your career into gold.
Sydney Finkelstein of Harvard Business Review has been portraying some of our greatest business leaders and Jon Stewart seems to have earned his way to the top.
Finkelstein’s studies have identified leaders that are not just successful in leading teams, they are especially good in developing talent. These great bosses have gone well beyond motivating the troops. They build leaders and stars within their organizations, industries and categories.
In entertainment, Jon Stewart and Lorne Michaels have fostered great legacies in launching and developing talent.
Lorne Michaels hired and developed Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, Gilda Radner, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Will Farrel and Mike Myers. All of these individuals went onto become award winning producers, actors, writers and entrepreneurs.
Jon Stewart hired and developed Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Steve Carell, Samantha Bee, Ed Helms and many others. His track record continues to grow with many of these individuals becoming icons in their own right.
Stewart and Michael are true iconoclasts, performing at such high levels they inspire everyone around them. But what sets them apart in leadership is a deep spirit of:
They are generous with their time, their praise and their involvement with key team members. Both have reputations for giving high levels of responsibility to unproven talent. They are adept in building the kinds of bonds with people that cause Mike Myers to build an entire character on Lorne Michaels and former colleagues to cry when telling the world how Jon Stewart changed their lives.
Many of today’s bosses horde time and energy. They carry a belief there isn’t enough time and bandwidth to meet the needs of the day. They would do well to study the likes of Lorne Michaels and Jon Stewart because they demonstrate that generosity can actually fuel more timeand more energy. Not only creative with delivering product, each man has orchestrated an “experience” that forever changed the lives of their colleagues.
Steve Carell has said,
“I still think of it as a home. I’ve never been around a group of funnier and smarter people in my life.”
The spirit of generosity driving Lorne Michaels and Jon Stewart can be a lesson for anyone who manages and impacts others. These are individuals who love what they do, they love the people around them and they love watching others succeed as a result of their mentorship.
Was it easy?
Does it work?
The results are unimpeachable.
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