The Hero Boss is Back

According to the Economist, the hero boss is back.

HAS Donald Trump saved American capitalism? Investors in the real-estate mogul's duff Atlantic City casino business are unlikely to agree. They are getting stiffed with a low share price and a probable debt restructuring. But Mr Trump's small-screen triumph as a reality-TV star is helping to revive interest in a figure not seen in public since the bursting of the stockmarket bubble in 2000-01: the celebrity boss. Even as erstwhile heroes of capitalism are led away in handcuffs, Americans seem to be flirting with the idea of falling in love with the boss all over again.

Naturally, the transition from one era to the next requires some finessing. The cover of Fortune magazine, for instance, recently featured a somewhat mixed message about the boss of InterActiveCorp ("Is Barry Diller's company the real thing or just another house of cards?"). But it has also drooled in less-restrained fashion over IBM's boss, Sam Palmisano, Ford's boss, Bill Ford, and the curiously telegenic Mr Trump ("He's never been hotter").

Well hell, let's just bring back admiration for profitless dot-coms while we are at it. Seriously though, the key to being a good boss is to have good people around you to compensate for your limitations. Even Jack Welch wasn't perfect.

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