Liz Wiseman is a researcher, speaker, executive advisor, and author. She is best known for her book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. From 1988 through 2005, Wiseman worked for Oracle Corporation, where she created Oracle University, worked as Vice President of Human Resource Development, and let multiple global initiatives. Wiseman is now the CEO of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. Some of her recent clients include: Apple, AT&T, Disney, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Salesforce, Tesla, and Twitter. Here is some of her best leadership advice:
“When leaders teach, they invest in their people’s ability to solve and avoid problems in the future.” This means that leaders get to play a role in setting their team and company’s future up for success. Although teaching may be more time consuming than simply providing an answer or making the decision, it will pay off in the long run. The faster you teach problem-solving to your team, the faster your leadership will become effective not only to the culture on your team, but to the success of the company as a whole.
“The highest quality of thinking cannot emerge without learning. Learning can’t happen without mistakes.” If your goal is to have a team that really thinks through problems, solves them, has intuition, and has a culture of innovation, you need to first wrap your mind around mistakes happening. Think about how you can foster an environment for mistakes to be welcomed in the context of learning from them.
“Those who work in a fun environment have greater productivity, interpersonal effectiveness, and call in sick less often.” Yes, people do their best work when they are having fun, but keep in mind that people have fun in different ways. Perhaps fun to one person is sitting next to their favorite team members so they can chat a little throughout the day. Perhaps to another, fun is discussing intense topics to arrive at the best possible outcome or solution for their clients. Leaders should be having regular conversations with their team to determine what brings them joy and what makes them effective. The better you can shape their work environments to accommodate their various ‘fun-meters’, the healthier your team will be.
“When leaders offer a right-size challenge, people contribute quickly, build confidence, and are readied for bigger challenges.” Leaders get the privilege of growing and scaling their team. It’s quite an art, and if done correctly, you will experience their character, skills, and leadership capacity increase. If you don’t give your team enough challenge, you’ll produce people who aren’t inspired, and could even feel neglected or overlooked as they are underutilized. Talk to your team about what they enjoy doing: that’s a great place to start challenging them.
“To generate a big impact, pair someone who wants to change the world with someone who already knows how the world works.” This concept applies to all aspects of life! Team dynamics matter more than salary, benefits, or titles. Finding pairs of people who complement one another will provide your organization with the gusto it needs to accomplish its mission.