Review: Impact Players
How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply your Impact
by Liz Wiseman
Lead with impact in uncertain times
Liz Wiseman, author of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, has a new book out. Here she writes for the vast majority of us in middle management about how to have impact and make a difference.
Who are high-impact players?
Those who “lean in” to messy problems, unclear roles, unforeseen obstacles, moving targets, and unrelenting demands. That certainly sounds like our times. Wouldn’t it be great to have more of these high-impact players on our teams to help us cope with uncertainty and a growing workload?
High-impact players … wear opportunity goggles. They react differently to uncertainty!
Five practices of Impact Players
Messy problems? They make themselves useful.
Instead of seeing messy problems as a distraction, Impact Players lean in and make themselves useful. They do the job that is needed. They act with agency and become utility players that can play where needed.
Unclear roles? They step up.
Instead of dependence and waiting for direction, Impact Players step up. They see unclear roles as an opportunity. They are proactive. When in doubt, they call the meeting and enroll others. They are playmakers helping everyone win.
Unforeseen obstacles? They finish stronger.
Instead of escalating difficult problems, Impact Players finish stronger by figuring it out. They have resilience, perseverance, and grit to see the whole job through to the finish.
Moving targets? They ask and adjust.
Instead of sticking to what they know best, Impact Players act and adjust. They don’t see moving targets as a detour. Confidence is reflected in their readiness to learn and grow. They ask for guidance and adjust their approach. They are coachable.
Unrelenting demands? They make work light.
Instead of adding to the burden, Impact Players make work light by being part of the team, seeing the need, and stepping in to help out. They reinforce a culture of collaboration and inclusion.
Grow your Impact Player Mindset
Perspective of Others
Impact Players see from others’ perspective. They change seats and listen longer. As a result, they find the real needs and priorities.
Impact Players see opportunities rather than threats. They grow by trying out new practices and seeking feedback.
Grow Organizational Impact
Leaders can supercharge their effectiveness by developing Impact Players, Impact Teams, and Impact Cultures. Specifically, leaders multiply impact by:
- Giving 51% of the vote to others rather than micromanaging
- Giving problems back by asking what delegates think should be done next
- Sharing their mistakes to create a culture of learning and growth
- Normalizing mistakes to create a safe place for discussion
- Identifying strengths that tap into native genius
Play “All in”
Wiseman concludes with: Impact players play bigger, find a need and fill it, turn uncertainty and ambiguity into opportunity, find out what’s important to those they serve, and take the lead and finish the job. In sum, they adapt quickly and play bigger and better to create impact.