Impact Players Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Impact Players Summary

About Impact Players Book

Thinkers50 Top 10 Best New Management Books for 2022

Why do some people break through and make an impact while others get stuck going through the motions?

In every organization there are Impact Players—those indispensable colleagues who can be counted on in critical situations and who consistently receive high-profile assignments and new opportunities. Whether they are on center stage or behind the scenes, managers know who these top players are, understand their worth, and want more of them on their team. While their impact is obvious, it’s not always clear what actually makes these professionals different from their peers.

In Impact Players, New York Times bestselling author and researcher Liz Wiseman reveals the secrets of these stellar professionals who play the game at a higher level. Drawing on insights from leaders at top companies, Wiseman explains what the most influential players are doing differently, how small and seemingly insignificant differences in how we think and act can make an enormous impact, and why—with a little coaching—this mindset is available to everyone who wants to contribute at their highest level.  

Based on a study of 170 top contributors, Wiseman identifies the mindsets that prevent otherwise smart, capable people from contributing to their full potential and the five practices that differentiate Impact Players:

  • While others do their job, Impact Players figure out the real job to be done. 
  • While others wait for direction, Impact Players step up and lead.
  • While others escalate problems, Impact Players move things across the finish line.
  • While others attempt to minimize change, Impact Players are learning and adapting to change. 
  • While others add to the load, the Impact Players make heavy demands feel lighter.

Wiseman makes clear that these practices—and the right mindset—can help any employee contribute at their fullest and shows leaders how they can raise the level of play for everyone on the team. Impact Players is your playbook for the new workplace.

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Impact Players by Liz Wiseman

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Categories of contributors in the workplace

Categories of contributors in the workplace

  • High-impact contributors: These people are doing work of exceptional value and impact.
  • Typical contributors: These are smart and talented people who are doing solid work.
  • Under-contributors: These are smart and talented people who are playing below their ability. 

The difference between the Impact players and the Contributor is the mode of thinking. It’s learnable and coachable, thus available to everyone. A leader can develop an entire team with the Impact Player Mindset.


How Impact Players see everyday challenges

  • Impact players look for opportunities in new terrain with new obstacles, while others may see it as a threat.
  • Typical contributors approach difficult situations as a nuisance and try to avoid rather than face the problem. Impact players figure out how to turn it into an opportunity.
  • Impact players see an unclear direction and changing priorities as a chance to add value.


Key differentiators between Impact Players and their colleagues

  • Do the job that’s needed. When dealing with messy problems, impact players address the needs of the organisation. They do the job that needs to be done.
  • Step up. Impact players get things started and involve others while the rest wait for direction.
  • They finish strong while enforcing a culture of accountability.
  • They adapt quickly to change because they interpret new rules and targets as opportunities for learning and growth.
  • They make work light. They provide lift by being easy to work with.


How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact

Impact Players

Impact Players

  • Impact players find the most valuable way to contribute their capability at work.
  • Practice One: Do the job that’s needed.
  • Practice Two: Step up and take the lead, then step back and support others.
  • Practice Three: Finish stronger.
  • Practice Four: Ask and adjust.
  • Practice Five: Make Work Light.
  • Discover the foundational skills of impact players.


Impact players find the most valuable way to contribute their capability at work

To understand these differentiators, researchers asked managers at nine top companies to describe three types of employees:

  • High-impact contributors: those who do work of exceptional value and impact.
  • Typical contributors: Those who produce solid, steady work. They work hard, perform well and earn high praise from their managers.
  • Under-contributors: Those who perform below their capacity and capabilities.


Practice One: Do the job that’s needed

Impact players aim to serve. To embrace the habits of impact players, do the following:

  • Understand your organization’s goals and culture – Learn what makes an impact.
  • Look for a double “WIN” (“What’s Important Now”) – Look for something important to the organization that’s also important to your immediate boss (or stakeholder). Then look for an opportunity to contribute where your capabilities overlap with the WIN.
  • Work with purpose – High-impact players bring passion to their jobs and the tasks they need to do, not to their particular areas of interest or specialty topics.


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