Thoughts on Leadership: Impact Players

What’s the difference between the solid contributor in your workplace and the Impact Player?  In her new book, Impact Players, Liz Wiseman notes 5 practices that distinguish the Impact Players from their less-impactful colleagues. 

  1. Impact Players do the job that’s needed.  While their colleagues may do their assigned job well, the high performers assess what really needs to be done for the organization to flourish.  In other words, they look outside of their job description to find ways to help the organization move forward.  
  2. Impact Players step up and lead.  Instead of waiting to be asked, Impact Players take charge.  They lead “on demand.”  And when they have made their impact they step back.  To summarize, an Impact Player knows when to lead and when to follow.  Most solid contributors take a backseat to the official leader.  They assume others are in charge and fail to step up.  
  3. Impact Players finish stronger.  They are tenacious for results.  When the going gets tough, Impact Players get the job finished.  And they do this without the need for supervision.  Typical players escalate issues to management when the going gets tough.  
  4. Impact Players ask and adjust.  They adapt quickly to changing conditions.  They adapt better because they see change as an opportunity to grow.  And Impact Players have a strong growth mindset.  While typical players see change as a nuisance, Impact Players thrive in times of uncertainty and crisis.  
  5. Impact Players make work light.  Work is fun for Impact Players.  They loathe drama, politics, and stress and pursue a bouyant, collaborative, and inclusive environment.  Typical employees add to the load and make work heavy.  

In reviewing these five characteristics of Impact Players, where do you see yourself?  Where are the people that report to you?  Are you surrounding yourself with Impact Players or people who simply do their jobs?

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