Why is it that some leaders are able to stretch and build the intelligence, creativity and motivation of their employees, while other leaders seem only to disengage and drain the collective talent found within their teams? That’s the basis of my conversation with leadership researcher and best-selling author Liz Wiseman.
Liz is the president of The Wiseman Group, a research and development firm that conducts research in the field of leadership and collective intelligence. Some of her clients include Nike, Apple, PayPal, Genentech, Dubai Bank, Salesforce.com, and Twitter. Prior to founding her research firm, Liz worked for 17 years at Oracle as the Vice President of Oracle University and the global leaders for Human Resource Development.
In addition to writing for the Harvard Business Review, Liz co-wrote the Wall Street Journal bestseller, “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter”, which features some of the research she’s done looking at leadership and collective intelligence.
Over the course of our conversation, Liz shares a number of stories and research findings that help to illustrate:
- What’s the “dirty little secret of the corporate world” that we don’t talk about and how it’s impacting employee engagement.
- How “multiplier” leaders stretch and grow talent to increase team productivity, instead of relying on attaining more resources to achieve goals.
- Why leaders need to go “public” with their mistakes to engender team success and building community.
- How encouraging debate can improve both decision-making and employee engagement.
- What “multiplier” leaders do that motivates their employees to do their best work.
- What the research findings into “multiplier” leaders reveals about opportunities to improve our education system in order to create leaders and employees that organizations will need in the years ahead.
Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #11 – Liz Wiseman On How Leaders Grow Intelligence”
When it comes to successfully leading today’s organizations, one skill that’s been growing in importance and need is the ability to manage change. While many of us have read about various organizations to understand how they’ve dealt with change, I’d like to share an experiment done with crows to highlight some key lessons we can glean from this research on how to embrace change.
In his TED talk, Joshua Klein describes an experiment he performed to understand the nature of intelligence found in crows. For his experiment, Klein created a vending machine that would dispense peanuts when a coin was dropped into the coin slot. At first, he placed the peanuts on a feeding tray above the coin slot, along with a number of coins, to help attract the interest of the nearby crows.
Once Klein saw that the birds had become comfortable eating peanuts on the vending machine, he removed the peanuts from the feeding tray, leaving only the coins behind. When the other birds and squirrels inspected the device and found only coins on the tray, they left to forage for food elsewhere. The crows, on the other hand, used their beaks to push the coins around in order to see if they could find a peanut.
Naturally, this action caused one of the coins to fall into the coin slot, resulting in the machine dispensing a peanut. In a short period of time, the crows caught on that Click here to continue reading »”How To Embrace Change In Today’s Organizations”
In my previous piece, I wrote about how we can ascertain what success really looks like beyond simply attempting to duplicate the efforts or accomplishments of those we admire. Given how much this piece resonated with my readers, I’d like to follow this up by addressing the other side of this equation.
Namely, that if we are to be truthful about the nature of success and the journey we take to achieve it, then we must address its travelling companion – that of failure.
The notion of an interdependence between success and failure – beyond simply being opposing outcomes that arise from our collective efforts – is perhaps best seen when we consider the nature of stories that revolve around a hero-type figure facing a seemingly unstoppable adversary.
As much as we cheer when the story’s protagonist achieves their goal, we feel that sense of elation most when they dust themselves off after they fall and use their failure to not only fuel their resolve, but to improve their understanding of what they need to do to ultimately succeed.
After all, their moments of epiphanies surface not during those heady moments of success, but as a result of what they discover and learn during those dark periods as they struggle with the failure they’ve endured.
When seen from this context, the question then becomes how can we ourselves learn to value failure? How can we move beyond seeing failure as painful and difficult to an opportunity to learn what will help us to move forward and prevail?
As with the nature of success, we first need to understand that Click here to continue reading »”How Can We Learn To Value Failure?”
With only a few days left to this year, it’s natural that many of us are now breathing a sigh of relief that we’ve seen through the completion of another year at work. And if you’re one of the fortunate ones in today’s tough business climate, you’re probably also feeling that sense of relief that comes from achieving the goals we set out for ourselves, our team and our organization 11 months ago.
While many of us use the last week of December to rest and recuperate, it’s important that we not overlook the opportunity this time presents for reflection and review.
Indeed, whether this year was full of successes or losses, there is much that we can gain from the exercise of assessing not just what went right/wrong and why, but whether our efforts, culture, and beliefs remain aligned with our organization’s shared purpose.
To help with this process, I’d like to provide you with a series of questions to help you assess what lessons and insights you’ve learned over the past 12 months as you guided your organization towards your shared goals. For those who’d like to examine some of the questions in further detail, I’m also providing a link to a piece I wrote this year that reveals something about each question and what you can do to help your employees to achieve their shared goals. Click here to continue reading »”What Have You Learned Going Forward?”