How to build a team of impact players

This episode is with Liz Wiseman – author of the best-selling books Multipliers, The Multiplier Effect, Rookie Smarts, with her new book being released in October – Impact Players. Liz is the CEO of the Wiseman Group – a leadership and development firm based out of Silicon Valley with clients like Apple, AT&T, Disney, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Tesla and Twitter. And in 2019 was recognised as the top leadership thinker in the world. In this episode we talk about how to build a more impactful team to drive extraordinary growth.

LINKS

You’re listening to The Growth Manifesto Podcast, a Zoom video series brought to you by Webprofits – a digital growth consultancy that helps global and national businesses attract, acquire, and retain customers through digital marketing.

Hosted by Alex Cleanthous.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:01:18 Liz Wiseman introduction to the Growth Manifesto Podcast
  • 00:02:23 What are the challenges that executive’s have in today’s world?
  • 00:05:17 Is there a lack of vision because of uncertainty?
  • 00:06:25 How would you define impact players?
  • 00:14:02 How do you create a high contribution organization?
  • 00:15:51 What are a couple of things that people can do that can start them turning into multiplayer instead of a diminisher?
  • 00:18:40 Liz advises that instead of asking if this person is smart, rather ask, in what way is this person smart?
  • 00:24:05 Can you tell me the difference between impact players and contributors?
  • 00:27:54 Is it true that certain people have a certain mindset and it is hard to change?
  • 00:31:19 Are there any ways in which you’ve experimented on how to hire or find these impact players?
  • 00:48:10 Is it true that impact players are more likely to become leaders of an organization?
  • 00:51:16 Can everybody in the organization be an impact player?

TRANSCRIPT

Liz Wiseman:

So, I gave the framework to my buddy, Ben, who is one of my favourite test pilots. I always give him stuff and say, “Ben, try this out. See what happens.” So, I gave him this hiring profile and built a behavioural based interviewing tool for him and said, “You know what? He is part of — He had to hire 10 people in a month.” And he’s like, “Great. I’m going to give it a try.” Here are the behaviours. Here’s a set of questions, “Ask her this.”

And after interviewing about four people, he reaches back and he says, “Liz, here’s the thing I just learned. I now know what to look for in interviews. And I can tell now who is uncomfortable in these situations where impact players tend to distinguish themselves.” He says, “I am certain who I should not be hiring.” And he said, “I’m not yet certain who I should be hiring.” It’s hard to guarantee a pattern of behaviour in an interview, but I think it helps us say, “Oh wow. That person, they’re skilled. They’re interesting. They’ve got capability, but they are not comfortable in the messy ambiguity of everyday work life.” And they’re constantly looking to avoid those situations where impact players say, “Yeah, that’s a great big ocean wave.” And rather than run, I’m going to dive into that thing because I think there’s something interesting on the other side.

Alex Cleanthous:

Today, we’re talking with Liz Wiseman. She’s the author of bestselling books, The Multiplier Effect, Multipliers, Rookie Smarts, and with her new book being released in October called Impact Players. She’s a CEO of The Wiseman Group, which is a leadership and development firm that’s based out of Silicon Valley with clients like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Salesforce, Tesla, and Twitter. And in 2019, she was recognised as the top leadership thinker in the world. Big place.

Today we’ll be talking about how to build a more impactful team to drive extraordinary growth. Just quickly before we get started, make sure to go ahead and hit that subscribe button, so you get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released. Yeah, let’s get into it. Welcome, Liz.

Liz Wiseman:

Oh, it’s good to be here.

Alex Cleanthous:

It’s good to talk to you because I have read your books and I have been using a lot of your thinking for years, right. And so, it’s so good to be able to have a conversation to really get into the weeds about leadership because it’s one of those areas that there’s no right way, there’s no wrong way, and there’s lots of different ways, right. And so, I really like your approach, but I figured, let’s get straight into it.

Liz Wiseman:

Okay.

Alex Cleanthous:

What are the challenges that executives have in today’s world, especially with all the stuff that’s happened since 2020?

Liz Wiseman:

Oh, here’s the one that I think is the biggest challenge. There’s a couple, but I want to start with what, I think, is the biggest challenge is, we haven’t evolved our leadership approach. I think we’re in a fundamentally different form of leadership than we’ve ever been in the past. I want to start with where… When I began my leadership career and I went to my very first management training class, the instructor said, “Your job as a leader is to provide a vision and then to take people to a better place.” And he stood up on a chair, literally stood up on a chair, and he reached over and extended his hand. And he’s like, “Your job as a leader is to extend the hand of greatness and to grab people by the hand and take them to a better place.” And I’m like, “Well, that sounds inspiring, but something sounds wrong about that to me.”

And now I think I understand why because right now leaders aren’t asking people to come with them to a better place, a vision that they have of the future. See, when you’re working in total uncertainty and ambiguity, you as a leader aren’t taking people to a land you’ve been to before like, “Oh, come with me. I know this country. I’m an expert, but come with me and I will guide you there.” You know what? I’ve got to wake you up in the middle of night, rouse you from your sleep, tell you to grab your go-bag and come with me because we’ve got to leave what we’re doing today, and we’ve got to reinvent and rethink and build something new. “Well, where are we going?” “I don’t know, but I know we need to leave.”

So, what leaders are… The challenge I think today is that leaders are leading in the dark. And when you lead in the dark, it’s a very different kind of leadership. You’re not asking people to follow your vision as much as you’re saying, “Come with me in the dark and keep your eyes open. And we will figure this out together.” You’ve got to build the trust that you need for people to follow you into an unknown and uncomfortable place. And then you need collective vision. I think of it like special ops, where it’s like, “Okay. You know what? We’re going in on this mission and we know what we’re trying to do, but we don’t have all the information we need. So, we need people saying, ‘I got eyes on this.’ ‘I see this.’ ‘This is happening over here.’” And the leader is coordinating that through a headset and you’re building… It’s such a different form of leadership. And I think the biggest challenge right now is a lot of people are saying, “I don’t have the answer. I don’t have the answer.”

Alex Cleanthous:

So, it’s helping to navigate a team through this uncertainty. And is there almost a lack of vision because of the uncertainty? So, it’s not very easy to set a vision, but in the current environment. Is that part of the challenge or is it, “They should be setting a vision within the current environment to help everyone go, ‘That’s the path’”?

Liz Wiseman:

Well, I think it is actually both of these. It is a lack of vision. You may have an intent, an objective, but I don’t know that you can have this vision because it’s going to unfold and it’s going to be created. So, it’s about getting a team to build a real time vision of reality, a real-time vision of what we’re creating. And I actually think… All the research I’ve done has led me to this sort of strange conclusion that we tend to be at our best when we don’t know.

Alex Cleanthous:

We tend to be at our best when we don’t know. That’s not true for everybody though, is it? That’s true for some people, right? So, for example, a bit later in this conversation, we’re going to be talking about Impact Players, right? And that’s the characteristics of one that they seem to step into uncertainty or they handle uncertainty like in a bit of a different way. Is that consistent across everyone or is that consistent across the best teams? How would you define that?

Liz Wiseman:

Well, I think there is a general dynamic that we tend to do better thinking and better work when we don’t have answers because of what it does to us. When you have an answer, bam. You ask me a question, I have an answer. You ask me any related question, I have an answer. You get halfway through your question, I have an answer for it. And we are so quick to assume, but when we don’t know… And I’m not talking when we’re empty-headed, know-nothings. I mean, when we are fully engaged and thoughtful and we don’t have a ready answer. Well, what do we tend to do when we have a question, but we don’t have an answer? Well, we think. We make mistakes. We learn from them. We’re humble. We ask a lot of questions. We feel uncomfortable. We feel tense when we don’t know. And most of us don’t like staying in a not-knowing space. So, we’re very driven to… We tend to do our best when we don’t know because we don’t like it. And we have to close the gap.

Liz Wiseman:

Generally, I think this dynamic plays out when you look at leaders. When leaders have the answer, their team becomes an extension of them. “Here’s what I want you to do. Your arms, your legs. I’ll be the brain.” And they can end up having this diminishing effect on others, but when leaders have the right question, but don’t have the answer, well, then they need to ask questions. Then they need to listen to people. Then they need other people. And we love working for people who need us. It lets their team find the answer. So, it tends to put leaders in their best space. And it tends to create learners out of us when we don’t have ready answers.

Alex Cleanthous:

And this is what the Multipliers book was about, right? Is it basically how to be a multiplier, not a diminisher? And so, it’s to have a vision. And in uncertainty, we seem to perform a lot better because of the challenge, because we’re just being pushed to our creative limits trying to figure out a big problem, but then as a leader, you can either be a multiplier or a diminisher. So, could you just quickly explain for the few people that haven’t read the book, and I’m sure everyone has read the book, but what’s the difference between a-

Liz Wiseman:

Most of the planet.

Alex Cleanthous:

… multiplier and… Right?… Well, of course, most of the people I know, I guess because I’m in the marketing game.

Liz Wiseman:

You’re one of the cool people. Let’s-

Alex Cleanthous:

One of the cool people.

Liz Wiseman:

… assume that.

Alex Cleanthous:

But what’s the difference between a multiplier and a diminisher in terms of a leader?

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah. So, it’s a name I gave to this dynamic that I saw. And I saw it in my early days at Oracle. And I joined Oracle when they were young… Rapidly growing. Doubling every year revenue, headcount, market share every year. And they hired a really interesting breed of people. They hired for this kind of trifecta of talent. It was really smart like uber-driven and then kind of fun or nice. And I can tell you, if they compromised on any part of that triangle, it was the nice part of this.

So, I landed in this organization and I don’t think I felt like an imposter there. I just felt so lucky to work around all these brilliant, brilliant people. I was like, “Man, I work with smart people.” But I think because I was a little bit enamoured with how intelligent and driven everyone was, I noticed that when some really smart, capable people got put into management roles, they continued to be smart, but the people around them didn’t get to be knowledgeable, capable, know-how. They had this way of weakening the people around them. But I saw other equally smart, capable leaders who use their intelligence in very different ways. And I called that first group diminishers and that second group multipliers. And these were leaders who used their intelligence in a way that other people were at their best. Like we’re smart, we’re capable. We take ownership. We lean in around these leaders, whereas the diminisher leaders, we tend to lean out, we shut down, we power around them and it was a dynamic I watched play out over and over.

And then I went and did some executive coaching at places like SAP and Apple. And I see this same dynamic. And I’m wondering, “Why is it that some leaders amplify intelligence while others drain it?” And probably the two things that I found there that are important. So, if someone isn’t familiar with the idea, hasn’t read the book, skip it, and let me just give you kind of the nuggets maybe is-

Alex Cleanthous:

Buy it. Don’t skip it. But just listen right now.

Liz Wiseman:

I will warn anyone who hasn’t read it that some people say it was the most painful book they ever read.

Alex Cleanthous:

Because they’re about themselves. Because they were reading it going, “Oh my God. I’m doing this wrong.”

Liz Wiseman:

No, but Alex, I was a first time author and people say this. I’m like, “What do you mean painful?” Like poorly written pain?

Alex Cleanthous:

(Laughs)

Liz Wiseman:

Like no self-reflective painful. But here I think-

Alex Cleanthous:

Two things. Yes.

Liz Wiseman:

Two big ideas. One is that the research I did, which I have replicated over and over and in virtually every country, is that diminishing leaders are getting less than half of people’s available intelligence. So, they may be working for companies that are working really hard to hire smart people, but they’re only yielding half of that capability, which seems to me like a bit of a crime. Not just in terms of waste for shareholders or what have you, but these people were promised a great environment to work in. And they got duped because they now have a bit of a ceiling, a wall on what they can do.

So, that’s the first thing that these multiplier leaders tend to get twice the level of insight, know-how, and capability from people they lead at zero cost. The cost of good leadership or maybe the cost of self restraint. The second idea which was really more disturbing to me was that most of the diminishing that’s happening is not coming from tyrannical, bossy, narcissistic, know-it-all kinds of leaders. Yes, they’re out there. They exist. And some people have surely worked for one and they shut people down overtly, but most of the diminishing was coming from really well-intending people. The good guys. People who take management training. People who read management books. People like me who write management books who are trying to do the right things, but yet following some just popular leadership guidance end up shutting people down to the same extent as those narcissistic know-it-alls.

Alex Cleanthous:

And I think that’s the hardest part, right? Because it’s people who are good and people who are good trying to do what they believe is good, but not knowing it’s impact, right? An example of one is protecting someone from something, right, whereas like, “Why are you protecting anyone? Is that because that’s what you would want?” But that actually can hold people back, right? So, it’s like there’s so many different little things that you do from the best intentions that don’t go that way.

Liz Wiseman:

And I think if you want to create, what I call, a high contribution organization where people are contributing fully, as a leader, you really have to understand the difference between your intention and your impact. And it is human nature to judge other people on their actions and their impact, and to judge ourselves on our intent because we know our intent and I think my mission with this body of work is to help people kind of look into this dark space. That’s what you meant. Someone was struggling on your team and you extended the hand of help. What you thought you were doing was saying, “I support you. I care about you. I want you to be successful. You’re on my team. I love you, man.” But what you actually just said to that person was, “I don’t think you can do this. I don’t think you can handle the hard things. I’m here for the hard stuff. You can’t do this without me,” which is actually at the very core of the diminishing logic, which is, “Nobody can really do this without me.”

And so really understanding how our best intentions can be received differently. If you really want all that capability you just hired and then more because people say, “Man, I got so much smarter and more capable working for these leaders.” You really have to understand your shadow as a leader. What is it like to work for you? What true impact do you have on people?

Alex Cleanthous:

And what are a couple of things that people can do that can start turning them into a multiplier instead of a diminisher? So, what are a couple of things to say, “All right. If you just keep a couple of these things in mind, this will just at least help.” Obviously, you should read the book because… Just to be aware of it is the first step, but a couple of points. Is there a couple of quick takeaways for the podcast right now if someone is listening?

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah. Sure, sure. I’m going to try to get as many as I can in a minute-

Alex Cleanthous:

Okay. Please. Love that. Love that.

Liz Wiseman:

Start with awareness. And it’s like, assume you’re having a diminishing impact and find out how you’re doing with the best of intentions.

Alex Cleanthous:

Wow. Assume you’re having a diminishing… I just assume that. Wow. That’s a cool one. No, because everybody thinks that they’re not. So, just assume everything kind of is. I just had to stop you because that was like, “Whoa.” I just want people just to get that.

Liz Wiseman:

Well, thank you. And I’m not sure I’ve ever articulated it quite that way, but I haven’t really found too many leaders who aren’t having an accidentally diminishing impact. So, assume you are, talk it up on your team. I find that the leaders who make the most progress are the ones who don’t hide their accidental diminisher tendencies. They put them out there on the table. For me, I’m super lazy about this kind of stuff.

Personal growth. Everyone thinks I’m a machine. Super lazy. So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to tell people what my accidental diminisher tendencies are. Like I might say, “I have a tendency to rescue people.” If I’m jumping in to help you and you really got this, “Say Liz, I got this. Cheer me from the sideline, but let me finish the work.” So, tell people and let them help you correct.

So, things to do. Tell less, ask more. It’s probably the most profound shift a leader can make is to operate in the mode of asking questions rather than giving directives. Ask the questions that get people thinking, that get people taking ownership. Ask more questions, ask better questions. Have a set of what I call back pocket questions. Five go-to questions that if you’re running into a meeting and you haven’t really prepared, you got them. Like, “Hmm, what’s your perspective on this issue? What are the risks we haven’t explored? What are the reasons why we shouldn’t proceed? What help do you need from me to be successful?” Have your go-to questions.

Talk less in meetings. Take your percentage of the room and maybe even back it off a bit. Look for people’s, what I call, native genius. What do they do brilliantly? A fast way to do this is… And I have to admit. This is Alex. This is a true confession… I’ve done this wrong many times.

So, instead of asking, “Man, is this person smart?” I’ve done that, and I’ve asked that question. Ask, “In what way is this person smart?” And then – maybe one more would be, clarify that… Particularly for entrepreneurs, let people know where it’s okay to make mistakes and where it’s not. We tend to say things like, “Be innovative. Build fast, fail forward.” That doesn’t help anyone because we know there’s lots of parts of the business. You can’t bring the production database down and say, “Oh, bummer, dude.”

Alex Cleanthous:

We learn to keep it up. And he’s like, “Yep.”

Liz Wiseman:

It’s like letting people know. In this part of our operation, you know what? We can’t experiment and make mistakes and recover our reputation, our dignity, our business, our careers. Over here, these are places where getting it a little bit wrong could have devastating consequences like business ending or life ending. Those are freeways. The other places, they’re playgrounds. And letting people know that delineation is one of the most powerful things a leader can do.

Alex Cleanthous:

There’s some super points there. I think I really like the one of talking with your team, right. And saying, “Hey, look, I tend to do this. If I do that, please let me know.” Because it gets the conversation out there and it gets you past your ego because it sounds like a lot of these… The place where you could be an accidental diminisher is because your ego is just getting in the way of you protecting them or you helping them or you trying to make it easier for them or however, else it is or you thinking that you know better than someone else, right. Instead of asking questions. I think the second one is asking questions. I mean, I’ve learned about asking questions as a leader for two decades now and I’m still working on it. It’s so hard sometimes. If you’re really, really busy and you have a lot of people asking you questions, to just slow down a little bit and actually kind of ask a question back, but to your point, you get a lot more contribution from the people if they feel like they’re fully engaged, right? So, that’s the prize. So, ask questions. It feels a bit slower in the moment instead of just going bang, that’s the answer. But on the other side of it, you’re building a stronger team. Is that right?

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah. And have a go-to question or two. And it really helps because if you’re someone like me who has the curse of processing things really fast, it’s easy to go and just want to jump right in and offer a suggestion. And one of the ways I slow myself down is to say, “Okay, what’s your go-to question here?” And this was a little success story for me. Our youngest son just went off to college. And one of the things… He was preparing for a summer job and I was, of course, giving him a little bit of coaching about how to make himself useful and be helpful. He says, “Mom, you know what? I’m just going to ask that question you always ask me.” And I’m like, “What is that?” And he goes, “Oh, whenever I get stuck on stuff you ask, ‘How can I be helpful right now?’” And I’m like, “Oh, I suppose I do.”

And I ask it when I want to jump in and tell someone what to do and how to do it. It’s my way of saying, “Okay. I need to signal to them that I’m here to help them, but I’m not going to do anything without their permission. So, how can I be helpful to you right now?”

Alex Cleanthous:

Love that.

Liz Wiseman:

And it just slows everything down because basically I’m assuming by interfering, I’m not being helpful.

Alex Cleanthous:

So, how you just explained how you process things quickly and you just want to put the answer, that’s me. So, I’m literally just going to take your question now. Okay. And I’m going to start to use it and I’m going to see how that does. And for anyone who works with me, they’re going to know. This is my trick now. So, they’re going to hear this podcast and they’re going to know, but it’s such a good way of doing it because I often don’t know what to do in that kind of moment where you’ve got the answer, it’s quick, you’re busy, and you just want to help, but then all of a sudden, well, you potentially become an to a diminisher, right? So, I really like that question. And if it’s okay with you, I’m just going to literally use that question.

Liz Wiseman:

Just use it. And all of you who work with Alex, I want you to hear this. It is okay to use the same questions, and it’s okay to steal other people’s questions. Having a go-to question shows discipline and consistency. So, use it. There’s so many questions you can just use. One of my favourites is just, “What is your perspective on this?” Or “What do you think we should do?” Most people don’t mind being asked. Like, “What’s your opinion?” “That’s what I like. Thanks. I’m glad you asked, Alex.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Yeah, that’s great. How can there be help right now? And what’s your perspective on this? They’re two really good places to go. Cool. So, we started off by saying, leaders need to have a strong vision and to be able to really support their team in going through uncertainty, right. Then talked about how to be a stronger leader, right. By being a multiplier and things to watch out for.

Alex Cleanthous:

Now, let’s talk about the team, right? Because in your upcoming book called Impact Players, you talk about the difference between an impact player and a contributor, right? And so, could you just quickly explain the difference between the two?

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah, absolutely. So, probably the most important thing is that these aren’t necessarily people. They’re belief systems. They’re mindsets that we tend to move in and out of, but here’s the concept behind an impact player. So, I was just watching some sporting event and someone was like, “Impact player.” An impact player in sports is someone who makes a really valuable contribution. They’re talented, they make plays, but they play the game in a way that everyone on the team gets better. They have this positive effect like, “Oh man, when we get this person on our team, we win.”

And I think there are impact players in virtually every organization. And they’re the kind of people who are the people you turn to in a clutch. And they’re the people who get the job done, and people who know how to make themselves valuable. And who have sort of this resoundingly positive effect on a team.

And what I did was go in and talk to 170 managers, “Tell me who your impact players are.” People who’re having an enormously positive impact. And then tell me about other people who are equally smart, talented, and hardworking, but yet their contribution… I wouldn’t want to say it’s average. Is solid. So, I was looking at what are those small differences that really caused some people to have an enormously positive and valuable impact inside an organization. And for starters, what I found was so interesting that it’s not like these impact players distinguish themselves in times of massive crisis. They’re not these heroes that emerge from the ashes that save the day. They’re heroes that save every day because they deal with, what I call, everyday challenges differently. When I looked at the situations that they differentiate themselves, it’s… Problems are messy and they don’t fit nicely into any one person’s job, which is where most important challenges inside an organization are. I was like, “Well, it’s not this person’s job or that person’s. It’s sort of like in that white space.”

They differentiate themselves when roles are unclear. And we know we’re all supposed to work together, but we can’t quite figure out who’s in charge. When we’re working on something new and there’s an obstacle that no one could have planned for. Just drops in the path or when targets move. When you start a project with one target, but you’re midway through and it’s like, “Oh, wait a minute. We’re doing something different. How do I handle that kind of change?”

And lastly, when there’s just so much work that it’s just not humanly possible to handle the workloads. When the demands are unrelenting. And when I looked at these, I’m like, “Wow, these?” These are the challenges that exist whether you work in a tech company or in a hospital or a high school or in a nonprofit organization. These are the things we all complain about every day. And they handle them differently because they see this uncertainty and ambiguity really differently there. Most people tend to see this as a problem to avoid, whereas the impact players see this as, “Oh, yeah. That’s messy, but that’s an opportunity for me to add value.” So, they’re constant value adders, and I can go through how they handle each of those five situations differently.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Sure. I mean, you said it’s a mindset, not a person, but is it often certain people have certain mindsets and it’s hard to change mindsets? Is that a true statement?

Liz Wiseman:

I worked it out of the mindset by talking to people who are having an enormous impact. So, I started with people, identified these impact players. What’s common across all this? What do they do differently than what everyone else is doing? How do they think about their role differently? And from that, I said, “This is their playbook.” And the playbook is a set of practises, things they do differently, but it’s also their mental game. It’s how they think about their role, their job, their contribution. And so with that, I kind of call that set of practises and assumptions the impact player mindset.

Liz Wiseman:

And I think there are people who operate predominantly in that mindset. And there are people who operate predominantly in, what I call, the contributor mindset. And my goal is-

Alex Cleanthous:

Coachable people?

Liz Wiseman:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Some of it is very coachable. Some of it is a little less coachable.

Alex Cleanthous:

What is less coachable then? What kind of things are less coachable?

Liz Wiseman:

Here are the things that are less coachable. One of the things is it pivots around internal focus of control, which is what the psychologist terms this belief that either I act on situations or I am acted upon. And it’s probably something that happened long ago in our childhood that set this expectation of, “Am I a victim of circumstance or do I shape the world around me?” And impact players very much operate from a notion that “I shape the world around me.”

So, if I’m starting a company, this is one of the things I want to look for. This should be top of the hiring profile is higher actors, not people who are acted upon. Speaking of which, when I think about starting a company, I have to tell you, Alex, because I know you work with a lot of high-growth companies and startups. I’m a researcher. I’m having so much fun in this research, but midway through talking to managers, about 170 of these amazing contributors, and then interviewing 25 of them personally to really understand their head and their game, I’m like, “Oh, maybe I should abandon the book project and I should start a company and just hire these 170 people.” Because wouldn’t that be amazing? Because these people are the kind of people you would want to build your company around.

Alex Cleanthous:

Like how you’re explaining the impact player mindset like what is an impact player? It does seem to fit the kind of person that we try to hire within Webprofits, right? It’s that kind of work environment. It’s that kind of culture. It’s that kind of thinking. We often try to find people that have entrepreneurial experience because they’ve had to kind of create stuff and to shape things themselves.

Liz Wiseman:

And no one’s going to do it for you. If you want a website, there’s no department to do it, you build it.

Alex Cleanthous:

Kind of thing, right? Exactly, right? Especially for an entrepreneur. And so, that mindset is really, really important, right? So, are there ways that you’ve seen or that you’ve experimented with on how to actually hire these impact players or find them? You know what I mean? Because it feels like that would be more the minority of people at the moment or impact players across the world. But I’m not sure, right? That’s why, I guess, I’d love to have the conversation about… So, what do you see as the makeup? What percentage of them are actually impact players across an organization? And are they able to be hired easily?

Liz Wiseman:

Oh, these are such great questions, Alex. And these are the questions I don’t have great answers for yet. So, here’s what I know. I know what impact players tend to do and how they think. I know which of these behaviours and assumptions are most coachable and those that are least coachable. And I know a little bit about how to use that framework to know who not to hire. And I’m learning about how to use the framework to hire. So, I built the framework, and we haven’t really gone through it. So, maybe we should back up-

Alex Cleanthous:

Yes, please.

Liz Wiseman:

… and talk about some of that, but…

Alex Cleanthous:

Please.

Liz Wiseman:

So, I gave the framework to my buddy, Ben, who is one of my favourite test pilots. I always give him stuff and say, “Ben, try this out. See what happens.” So, I give him this hiring profile and built a behavioural based interviewing tool for him and said, “You know what? He is part of — He had to hire 10 people in a month.” And he’s like, “Great. I’m going to give it a try.” Here are the behaviours. Here’s a set of questions, “Ask her this.”

And after interviewing about four people, he reaches back and he says, “Liz, here’s the thing I just learned. I now know what to look for in interviews. And I can tell now who is uncomfortable in these situations where impact players tend to distinguish themselves.” He says, “I am certain who I should not be hiring.” And he said, “I’m not yet certain who I should be hiring.” It’s hard to guarantee a pattern of behaviour in an interview, but I think it helps us say, “Oh wow. That person, they’re skilled. They’re interesting. They’ve got capability, but they are not comfortable in the messy ambiguity of everyday work life.” And they’re constantly looking to avoid those situations where impact players say, “Yeah, that’s a great big ocean wave.” And rather than run, I’m going to dive into that thing because I think there’s something interesting on the other side.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, I mean, this sounds like some of our interviews, right? Because I’m involved in the second interview and my whole job in the second interview is to really explain the uncertainty of the thing that we do and how hard it’s going to be and how fast we move and that for the right person, they will excel, but for the wrong person, they won’t. And it’s literally just — that’s the point of the second interview is to really just make sure they’re going to flourish in this kind of environment, right? So, I do think the ability to tell that somebody is not a fit is huge because most people are not a fit. And then you’ve got a few people left over of the people who could be-

Liz Wiseman:

And then you can deep-dive on that.

Alex Cleanthous:

And then you can deep-dive on them, right? So, I think that’s fantastic, but let’s jump to your other point because-

Liz Wiseman:

Alex, can I just give you-

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, please.

Liz Wiseman:

… a little something on that because I want-

Alex Cleanthous:

Yes, please.

Liz Wiseman:

… that whoever is listening to know what to do with that is this is the tip my buddy, Ben, gave me. He said, “Liz, one of the things I learned to watch for is body language.” And he said, “When I described like, you know what? Roles are unclear here. You’re going to be in situations where da, da, da. And he described one of these messy situations. He would ask people like, “Tell me about a time when you had to be involved in the project.” It was unclear who was leading and da, da, da, da. He said some people were like, they backed away and they threw up their hands like, “Oh yeah. Let me tell you about that.” Versus the person who was like, “Ooh yeah.” And were literally physically leaning in. So, I think body language is maybe a first litmus test for some of this.

Alex Cleanthous:

And it’s so true. It’s the eyes, it’s the body, and it’s the instant. And you can tell in an instant when they’re excited about that because they’re like, “Oh, yeah.” And it’s on or it’s like —

Liz Wiseman:

They get dear eyes like panic. Oh, yeah. I hated that.

Alex Cleanthous:

Hated that. Yeah.

Liz Wiseman:

Versus, “Oh, yeah. I don’t like it.” And it’s not like impact players like uncertainty and ambiguity better than anyone else. I don’t know. Many of us like it. If they know how to navigate through it and that’s what lights them up, which is like, “Yeah, it’s messy and uncomfortable, but I walked through the valley of death and I survived. I can’t wait to tell you about this.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Exactly. Yeah, that’s awesome. It’s so true as well. Can we talk quickly about your framework?

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. So, could you go through the approach for impact players?

Liz Wiseman:

Oh, absolutely. So, it’s these five situations.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yes.

Liz Wiseman:

And here’s how they handle… Some of them seem like very small differences, but they actually produce a big impact. So, the first is when problems are messy and they’re no one person’s job. Most people do their job and they do it well. It was one of the things that struck me in the interviews. How many managers say, “Yeah, here’s one of my typical contributors. They’re awesome. They’re so good at what they do. They do a great job, but they’re not having a big impact.”

And the people with impact, when the problems are messy, they don’t just do their job. They do the job that needs to be done. It’s not like they abandon their job, and it’s not like they chase every wild problem. It’s that they’re willing to expand their range. Like you know what? That’s not my job, but it’s not her job either. So, let me go over to where there’s something that’s important, but it’s broken or unattended and I’m going to throw myself over that. And they’re drawn to these unattended problems-

Alex Cleanthous:

And that’s impact.

Liz Wiseman:

And leaders love them. Entrepreneurs love them because… Once you’ve got an org chart and job descriptions, that’s a great capture of the past. But actually if you’re doing your job, you’re probably handling yesterday’s priorities. All the interesting and new and important stuff is in the white space between jobs. We haven’t had time to codify that yet. And that’s the space they work in. Like, “It’s not my job, but if it…” You asked for practical things. If I could suggest one thing people can do in this part of it is, you know what? Find out what’s important to your boss or your clients or your internal stakeholders. Find out what’s important to them and make it important to you. And you will end up spending your time on different things. And if you really want to plus that, let people know. “I understand what’s important and here’s how I’m working on what’s most important.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah.

Liz Wiseman:

What executive doesn’t want to hear that?

Alex Cleanthous:

Because I was just about to say, right. I work with quite a lot of people and always the ones who come with solutions, right. Because, obviously, there’s the job and there’s the role and there’s the current responsibilities and obviously they have to be handled, but then there’s the few who go, “Hey, I saw that thing over there. And nobody is doing anything with that. So, if you want, I can do that.” I was like, “Well, yeah. That’s a problem I’ve got on my list to solve. And no one said anything.” And so, all of a sudden–. They go up, right?

Now, again, they need to be the kind of person who’s happy to take that on and perform at it, and be okay with the uncertainty and all that. But every leader loves that. I mean, who doesn’t want to be told, “Hey, I can help. And here’s what I do. And let me just do it.” And it’s like, “Okay. Do you want any support?” “Nope. Fine.” Yes or no. It’s great. It’s great.

Liz Wiseman:

And there is a little bit… We all say this. We see really busy executive senior leaders, “Hey, how can I help?”

Alex Cleanthous:

I don’t even know where to start.

Liz Wiseman:

I don’t even know where to start because it’s all in the white space. If it was that person’s job, I would’ve already given it to them or they would’ve figured that out. I’m like, “It’s all messy, messy work.” And I had a friend who was recently… Just struggled with a lot of personal things and it was one of those things, “Hey, do you need any help?” “No, no, no.” And then finally I just said, “Hey, I’m coming over and I’m doing this thing.” And afterwards, her husband said, “I don’t think we realised how much help we needed until you just bossed your way over here and just did the job that needed to be done. And thank you because I couldn’t have figured out what we needed, but you just decided.”

Alex Cleanthous:

So true.

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah. But as leaders, we can also just give people permission like, “You know what? Don’t take your job description so seriously. Do what needs to be done.” Okay. So, that’s the first. The second is when roles are unclear. We’re collaborating, but we can’t figure out who’s in charge. Most people wait for role clarification. They wait for direction like, “Somebody give me a racey or a rockier.” Like, “Okay. Who’s responsible? Who’s accountable?” They’re looking for the powers that be to declare who’s in charge. The impact players spot a leadership vacuum and they just step up and they fill it, which is interesting, but not really the nuance of what makes them so valuable. It’s not that they’re willing to step up and lead. It’s that they’re willing to step back when that leadership job is done.

So, if anyone spent any time in the corporate world, it’s like… Once you go into management, it’s like your price to keep for life like, “I’m a manager. I’m in management.” And we hold onto these management jobs and titles. And the impact players had this much more fluid orientation to leadership, which is, “Hey, I’m willing to take the lead, but I don’t need to always be the leader. I don’t have to be in charge of everything. I’m as happy to follow someone who’s a peer or who works for me on the org chart.” And they practise this sort of on-demand form of leadership. When a situation needs coverage, boom, I’m on it. But then when that job’s done, “Let me step back so other people can take over.” It’s more like Canadian geese. Do they make it down to your part of the world?

Alex Cleanthous:

Mm-mm.

Liz Wiseman:

Do you have any birds that fly in V formation when they migrate?

Alex Cleanthous:

Oh, yeah. I don’t know what they are though. I don’t have any idea about any names of-

Liz Wiseman:

But you’ve seen them in the sky.

Alex Cleanthous:

But I’ve seen them in the sky. Yeah. It’s the V formations. Yeah.

Liz Wiseman:

And do you know why they fly in that V formation?

Alex Cleanthous:

Is it because of the wind or something? That’s just me having a full guess. I have no idea.

Right. Yeah. And so, we look, but we see them in the sky, but you don’t see how it happens. So, one of the birds… And I don’t know how they do this. If it’s pheromones or something, but one of the bird will fly to the front. They fly in that V which they’re breaking the wind, reduces the drag for the birds behind them. But then when they tyre, they roll to the back and the next bird takes the lead. And so, they rotate this leadership and the scientist… I kind of nerded out into this one day. The scientists say they can fly 71% further than solo flight in this formation.

Liz Wiseman:

Okay. So, we have a lot of organizations where we’ve got a bunch of leaders who are exhausted and then we’ve got a bunch of people who are underutilised. And when we rotate this and we normalise like, “You know what? Take the lead in this project, but you’re following someone else here.” It distributes that workload and the organization doesn’t suffer from burnout and exhaustion because most of us like having a turn leading something.

Alex Cleanthous:

It does sound like this is how you can be a leader who is a multiplier and support these impact players. And so, they can have their, I guess, opportunity to lead and to show the team that they can do this too. And then they can step back again, right. But it’s like just giving them the opportunity. And that’s also very supportive of the organization’s growth, right? And so, it all connects, right?

Liz Wiseman:

Absolutely.

Alex Cleanthous:

If an impact player is being a good leader, that’s a multiplier. It’s all part of the same kind of pie…

Liz Wiseman:

Part of the same question that I’m like a dog on a bone with is, how do we create organizations where people are contributing at their fullest? Deeply engaged. Not emotionally engaged and the rara we do around that, but intellectually engaged, locked on, working at their best, not just so the company has access to all that resource, but we create environments where people are like, “Man, I’m doing big things. I’m having an impact.” It’s like the regenerative brakes on my car. It’s like the more engaged we are, the more it creates energy back for us.

So, it also reduces this time… I did this book, Rookie Smart. And I was looking at why we tend to be at our best when we don’t know what we’re doing. How it prompts all this learning mode. There was a role where there’s a notable exception, which is, when we’re new to this role, we are disasters. And the role is manager.

Alex Cleanthous:

Totally.

Liz Wiseman:

Most people suck at this.

Alex Cleanthous:

Totally.

Liz Wiseman:

First six months, it’s a write-off. You don’t want to be working for someone in their first management job, but when we have this more fluid model of leadership. When people are now appointed into formal management roles, they’re like, “I got this. I know how to do this. I know how to not have everyone on the team hate me.” I understand the concept of diminishing.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. What’s interesting is… Over the years, I have worked a lot with a few people that have gone from being an amazing producer to now being a department head or somebody who has to manage others. And the first thing I always hear is like, “Oh my God, it’s all about people. I don’t even do the work hardly anymore.” And I was like, “I know.” What a shift that is. And now you have to understand people. And I’ll tell you, forget any technical stuff of any product, any service, people are way more complicated. It’s literally the hardest thing, which is why he’s the highest paid in the world, right? The people who run companies get paid the most because they’re having to run people, and to ensure an organization performs. And on an organization, is people.

Liz Wiseman:

I know. And it’s mind blowing. But I remember the day, Alex, that I figured this out and it was like 7:00 PM. Lights are out in the building. People have gone home except me. And I’m grumbling over my to-do list that got longer during the day because everyone’s bringing their problems. And I’m like, “Why is everyone else home and I’m still working, and people aren’t doing their jobs?” I’m like, “Oh, maybe you weren’t doing your job.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Maybe it’s me.

Liz Wiseman:

Maybe it’s me. And maybe my job is to give other people work to do and then to keep it there, so it doesn’t all roll back to me. I’m like, “Oh, yeah. No, I am not doing this job well.” And then comes the real aha when I’m like, “Oh, it’s not about me anymore. It’s not about how much I can produce and my skills. It’s how much production we get from the team and innovation and such.” And it’s this outward orientation, which these multiplier leaders all had. This ability to get out of their own head and in… Not into other people’s heads like mwahaha into their heads. But like, “I wonder what they’re thinking. I wonder what they can do that I haven’t yet seen.” It’s other people thinking. And here’s the kicker is that’s the same orientation I saw in these impact players is they aren’t self obsessed. They’re not even around self-awareness. Their awareness is around other people. “I wonder what pressures my boss is under. I wonder what success looks like for my client.” Because you can’t create value for others unless you understand what’s valued. And so, their awareness is all outside of themselves.

Alex Cleanthous:

It’s an interesting one, isn’t it? And there’s so many parts to unpack here. So, is it true that impact players are more likely to become leaders in an organization? Are leaders in an organization impact players that have just stepped forward enough times that they now have opportunity to lead officially?

Liz Wiseman:

Well, here’s the thing I saw for certain in the evidence. And that is that organizations and leaders reinvest in impact players. We know who our impact players are and we keep giving them more, more responsibility. They become our go-to people. Managers deputise them. And it’s partly because of this performance guarantee, which is, they always get it done. And they always get it done in the right way meaning there’s not blood on the floor. It’s victory like, “I got it done, but don’t talk to the eight people who suffered in this process.”

And so, they naturally get tapped for leadership roles, they get moved into management. It’s strange. There’s some counter-intuition here is because they tend to subordinate their will. They tend to subordinate their agenda, which is like, “Oh, yeah. There’s what I want to work on, but then there’s the job that really needs to be done. And I’m going to be willing to do the job that’s needed rather than what I personally am passionate about.” They do that and they start to build influence. And pretty soon, they get to set the agenda.

The organization just keeps pouring back into them, but it does take a couple of different forms. The impact players that I looked at, some of them are rising up the management ranks or are very high in the management ranks, but others take that reinvestment and all that influence and cache that they’ve built, and they don’t use it to expand their influence to rise in the organization. They use it to have more influence about how they work, where they work. Like, “You know what? Let somebody else climb the corporate ladder, but I want to work on this kind of work.” And people are like, “Yeah, you’re going to have anything you want because I trust you, you get it done, you get it done in the right way. You’re my go-to person on this.”

And some of them just gain a bigger voice in the world and in the organization. They’re the people that when management is meeting, everyone’s like, “Okay. Let’s bring our managers together and we’re going to do this.” Oh, and then these three people, they’re not managers, but they’re the influencers in this organization. They are the leaders of this organization.

Alex Cleanthous:

And I’m conscious of time though this conversation’s gone so quick. And you’ve only talked about two of the parts. I don’t think we’re going to be able to get to all of them. So, the people should definitely purchase the book, but can every… Because I have a couple more questions still. Can everybody in an organization be an impact player? Is that possible or is… Because I would say that they would have ambition so that everybody would need to… Because they’re impact players, right? So, they seem to be more ambitious. Can they all be impact players or is it just not like that?

Liz Wiseman:

Let me answer that from two angles. I’ll try to be brief. Can you have an entire team of impact players? Let’s answer that question. So, here’s what you can’t really have is an entire team of MVPs like most valuable players. People tend to say, “Well, there’s someone who’s more valuable than everyone else,” but can you have an entire team of impact players? Now, I chose that word on purpose because what an impact player does, to circle back to where we began, and to perhaps like sort of see it for the first time really is, an impact player is someone who is playing at their best, their fullest. They’re making an enormously positive contribution and they have a positive effect on the whole team. I’ll take a whole team of those people because you can have people having impact from all types of roles. Because you’re not saying this one person is more valuable than anyone else. They’re not the superstar of the team necessarily. I actually believe with the right kind of thinking and reframing, you can have an entire team of impact players.

Now, then there’s a second question. And there’s a whole way to think about that. There’s a chapter in the book on it. We don’t have time for this, but the second question is, can everybody be an impact player? And I don’t think the answer to that is yes. I think there are some of the mindsets that some people will struggle with and maybe don’t want to get beyond, but I’m sort of a hopeful learner in that I’ve seen people learn to do some amazing things and let go of some mindsets and beliefs, But the only ones that are successful are the ones who have chosen that for themselves. I’ve seen these raging diminishers become multiplier leaders, but I’ve never seen someone else turned them into a multiplier. I’ve only seen them turn themselves into it. So, if you’re a manager, you can’t sprinkle lavender fairy dust on your people and say, “Okay. We’re going to all-”

Alex Cleanthous:

Impact players.

Liz Wiseman:

Read the book. Boom. No, that’s not going to happen. But here’s the thing. I mean, it’s very similar to how I felt about multipliers. That way of working is hard for some people, but once you get there, it is such a more rewarding way of working. It’s worth that. Here’s what I have learned studying the best leaders is actually what it’s like to be on their team, and what it’s like to be on a team led by a diminisher is that people come to work every day desperately wanting to contribute everything they have. When you’re used at 50% of your capability, it’s actually painful. It’s exhausting strangely to be underutilised.

Alex Cleanthous:

Oh my goodness. I have to do something else. I’m like, “Yeah. No. This is not — .”

Liz Wiseman:

I’m like, “I need hobbies.”

Alex Cleanthous:

I need something to do. Yeah.

Liz Wiseman:

It’s like we are built for challenge. And we’re actually built for change and growth. And what I’ve learned is that people don’t want to be job holders. People want meaning and impact and people want to contribute everything they have and know that it’s making a difference.

Alex Cleanthous:

What impact players do. This is the thing I’ve noticed. This is what impact players want.

Liz Wiseman:

Everyone wants it.

Alex Cleanthous:

Are you sure that everyone wants it? I guess they do, right?

Liz Wiseman:

I’m not sure. I am sure about this. This is probably… If you had to say, “Liz, what’s the one thing you know?” Everything else I’m suspicious about this thing, I know. People want to contribute. Now, there are plenty who have learned not to.

Alex Cleanthous:

Okay. I mean, who wouldn’t want to contribute, right?

Liz Wiseman:

Who wouldn’t want to-

Alex Cleanthous:

Who wouldn’t want to have an awesome job where they’re doing the best that they can and getting paid well for it? And having a positive contribution in the world. Yeah.

Liz Wiseman:

And doing meaningful work like everyone. And I have been looking at this in different cultures and different industries. Everyone wants it. Now, there are some people who’ve been working for a diminisher so long, they’re like, “I’m not even innovative thinking. Not at all. Doing anything more than I’m asked? Mm-mm. Dangerous.” So, some people have learned not to, but I don’t know someone who doesn’t want it. And if given a safe environment, wouldn’t try. Because you don’t have to actually work more hours. It’s about working in different ways that create more impact for the time you spend. And I think everyone wants that. I mean, no one wants to have no life because their job has consumed them and eaten them up.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, yeah.

Liz Wiseman:

I actually think it’s possible to have a team of people who are playing at their very best and having really deep, meaningful impact in their work.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. I think that’s a super point. Again, if we look at the conversation that we’ve had today, start with vision, there’s a lot of uncertainty right now, right? And so, you want to be a model player and to inspire and to encourage your-

Liz Wiseman:

Collective vision.

Alex Cleanthous:

Collective vision, right? And to include them in the process, include them in the journey. Now, ideally you have impact players. And if you can identify them now because of the conversation that we’ve had or through the book, and you’re a model player later, now you can start to identify the areas where you can really start to get the most out of your team. And for the team, and just for the people who are on the team, this is how you can become an impact player. To take that extra step, right?

Alex Cleanthous:

And the goal out of all this is to create a successful work environment, a successful organization that has a massive impact on the world that is above and beyond the competition, right? Just from the same kind of effort, right? One question, right? This is the one question which I always have, right? Because they say it’s not the best person who wins a championship, it’s the best team, right? Can everybody be the best team or is there always not going to be one team that’s better than another? And if so, what is the difference between the team that is the championship team and the one who came second or third, right? Because that’s still good.

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah. So, let me offer a thought that probably is going to be unpopular with a lot of people. It was unpopular with my kids. I’ve got four kids. I’m the kind of mom who goes to the sports events and Donnelly cheers for our team. I cheer for the other team. And they’re like, “Mom, what are you doing?” I’m like, “Well, that was a good play.” That was an amazing catch. And they’re like, “Yeah, but they’re our opponent.” I’m like, “Yeah, but it was amazing.” So, I’m not rooting for them. I’m just acknowledging good play.

I think there is a bit of reframing that can be done. Particularly as we’re starting, companies and entrepreneurial high growth is redefining what it means to win. So, you can choose to say winning is about suffocating your competition or beating the competition and being in number one. I guess, it doesn’t hurt, but I think it’s an incomplete definition of winning. If you want a team of impact players, include in your definition is like, “We win when we have played at our best.” When we have done everything we possibly could, and not only did an individual do their best thinking and best work the entire team did, that’s a win.

And I think there’s lots of evidence in sports and in business that when managers coach for that mindset and behaviour, teams win in the marketplace. But it’s saying like the point of the arrow is our best work. Our very, very best. And maybe that your primary definition and then keep your scoreboard of actually W’s and L’s. I think it helps create this high contribution environment.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Yeah.

Liz Wiseman:

That’s a bit more like, “Oh no, no. Losses are not wins.”

Alex Cleanthous:

Well, it’s persistence in the face of that, right. And so, you try your best. Maybe you don’t win a competition or something, right? A pitch, a client, a thing or whatever, but then you try again and you try again and you try to be your best every single time and through consistency, through the right environment, through the right team, and through the right players… We didn’t even get to speak about smart players, unfortunately, today. So, the people will have to listen to the book. I mean, read all through the book by the time it comes out, but there’s how to run an organization. I think there’s a lot of organizations that are not like this, right?

Alex Cleanthous:

So, I think like even if you were starting to do just a fraction of the things that we speak about in the podcast after today, you’ll be way ahead of a lot of companies out there. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of companies and they’re all over the place, right. So, just the thinking.

Liz Wiseman:

And just add it to your thinking. It’s not about, “Okay. Losses are okay.” Your job as a leader is to extract people’s best thinking and best work, and to create an environment where they can do that, and that leads to wins. It does. But if you put that as your primary goal and the win-loss, move that a little bit into a secondary position, you’re going to win. You’re still going to win.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. The win-loss thing is not for the team. That’s what I’ve found as well is I’m not kind of motivated about that, but they are about just doing the best that they can and creating something, helping, having a strong kind of support-

Liz Wiseman:

Impact.

Alex Cleanthous:

… team. Having impact themselves. And to your point before, and I just stand corrected. Everyone wants to have impact. Not everyone has impact, but they all want it. And I think that’s an important point.

Liz Wiseman:

And there’s a lot of people who aren’t getting it right now. And I think it’s what we’re seeing the pandemic has caused us to see the outcome. And there’s a bunch of things that have happened there.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. Liz, this has been a fantastic conversation. I feel like we could talk for hours more on this topic.

Liz Wiseman:

I know. I don’t know that anyone wants us to talk for more, but thank you. I love all your insights and thank you for even looking at the work. When you’re an author, people are like, “Oh, how many books do you hope to sell?” I’m like, “Well, actually, I think about like… I just hope people read it and use the ideas.”

Alex Cleanthous:

That’s that win-loss thing again. Just read and then the win is secondary thing, right?

Liz Wiseman:

It flows from it. And it’s like chill out, figure out how to help people do their best work, figure out how to help people have impact, focus on impact and everything else follows from that.

Alex Cleanthous:

So, where can people purchase your book when it launches?

Liz Wiseman:

Well, I think it’s-

Alex Cleanthous:

When is it launching?

Liz Wiseman:

It’s October 19th. And it’s going to be sort of in all the normal places. It’s going to be in some bookstores, it’s going to be on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, and the various retailers. I just recorded the audio book.

Alex Cleanthous:

I love the audio book by the way. That’s my favourite style of learning because I’m going for a walk, I’m in the car, and I’m just thinking and I want my notes. Yeah. And it’s a very in-depth book. So, with these in-depth books, I really like to listen to them because they’re so thick and — When someone else is just speaking, you can just think.

Liz Wiseman:

And you can. And here’s the thing I like about the audio books is because what’s in the pages of the books I’ve written, that’s not nearly as important as the thoughts that people are going to have as they’re like, “Listen to it.” It’s like that secondary kind of book in your head is the important book because you’re teaching yourself.

Alex Cleanthous:

Never heard that like that before. That’s why I love audio books, I guess.

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah, we daydream a little bit about-

Alex Cleanthous:

Daydream a little bit, right? And then how could people connect with you if they want to connect with you?

Liz Wiseman:

Yeah. I’m pretty easy to find on LinkedIn at Liz Wiseman. Oh, I just started Instagram. I just got maybe some cat pictures or something there.

Alex Cleanthous:

Awesome.

Liz Wiseman:

Thewisemangroup.com.

Alex Cleanthous:

Perfect.

Liz Wiseman:

I’m pretty easy to find. Yeah.

Alex Cleanthous:

Great. Liz, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This has been such a fantastic conversation with other kind of ideas that are super-relevant for how to lead and to build extraordinary teams in today’s world. So, thank you so much for coming on the podcast again.

Liz Wiseman:

Oh, my goodness. I just love talking to you. Thank you.

Alex Cleanthous:

Awesome.

Thanks for listening to The Growth Manifesto podcast. If you enjoyed the episode, please give us a five-star rating on iTunes. For more episodes, please visit growthmanifesto.com/podcast. And if you need help driving growth for your company, please get in touch with us at webprofits.io.

Adrian Clark

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