Tag Archives: leadership

Here’s the Leadership Strategy Nike’s CEO Uses to Make Employees Smarter

Nike CEO

November 14th, 2015

Nike is no stranger to Multipliers leadership. As a client of The Wiseman Group since 2011, it’s thrilling to see the lasting impact and success Multipliers can have when it’s infused into the leadership culture of an organization.

In 2013, Casey Lehner, Global Design Operations Director for Nike, won the Multiplier of the Year Award for business. When she was nominated, her co-workers said, “Casey empowers us to lean into the tension, take risks and iterate. Because she believes we are capable, we believe we are capable.” Almost three year later, Multipliers remains an extremely important part of Nike’s leadership infrastructure.

In this latest article from Business Insider, Nike CEO Mark Parker discusses his leadership strategy and puts emphasis on the Multipliers principle: Ask Challenging Questions – Don’t just teach from your knowledge. Instead, ask challenging questions that go beyond what you know — and learn together with your participants as you search for answers.

The following is an excerpt from Business Insider:

“In a recent profile of Nike CEO Mark Parker, Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky reported that Parker is notorious for constantly asking questions that push employees to think harder.

Fortune quoted Andy Campion, Nike’s chief financial officer: “What’s fascinating about [Parker’s] use of questions is that it leaves other leaders empowered to find the answers themselves and act on them.”

That observation closely mirrors those that other Nike employees have made in the past.

A 2009 USA Today article noted that employees in Nike’s research lab “say there’s no telling when Parker will drop in and start reeling off questions.”

Parker acknowledges that inquisitiveness is a key part of his leadership strategy and a way to support his employees’ development. In 2012, he told Fast Company, “I end up asking a lot of questions, so the team thinks things through. I don’t say ‘Do this, do that.’ I’m not a micromanager. I don’t believe in that. … At Nike, we have incredibly strong people. They know what to do.”

Research suggests that Parker’s hit on a winning management tactic: Leaders who ask questions and encourage their team to find the answers tend to be more effective than those who try to know and do it all themselves.

Writing in The Harvard Business Review, Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown identify two types of leaders: “diminishers” and “multipliers.” Diminishers tend to minimize intelligence among their team because they assume their employees’ abilities are fixed; multipliers believe abilities can be cultivated. Wiseman and McKeown found that multipliers tend to lead teams that are up to twice as productive as those led by diminishers…”

To read the article in it’s entirety, please CLICK HERE or visit www.BusinessInsider.com.

Important Leadership Lessons – An Interview With Liz Wiseman by John Mattone


November 7th, 2015

Last week, Liz Wiseman was interviewed by John Mattone as a part of the Expert Interview Series. The following is an excerpt from the article:

“We recently asked Liz Wiseman, best-selling author of Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work and Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, about her leadership philosophy. She said that the leader’s job is to focus the capability of the organization and set the challenge, adding that the best leaders bring out the best in others by creating an environment where people can contribute fully and by challenging them in ways that their people and the organization grows.

“A bad leader will tell people what to do. A good leader will ask questions and let his or her people figure out the answers. A great leader asks the questions that focus the intelligence of their team on the right problems,” she says.

The president of The Wiseman Group, which teachers leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world, recently checked in with us to offer more of her insight on what it takes to be a great leader in business today. Here’s what she had to say…”

To read the article in it’s entirety, please CLICK HERE or visit www.JohnMattone.com.

How To Get Ahead At Work And Stay Happy: Liz Wiseman’s Interview On Fox Business

October 13th, 2015

Liz Wiseman stopped by Fox Business and Fox and Friends last week to discuss the Randstad survey on job satisfaction.

The Randstad study surveyed 11,000 workers and states that:
26% Left job due to lack of advancement.
23% Blamed low pay.
19% Left due to poor leadership.

Liz spoke with Fox and Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on how to get ahead at work and stay happy!

2014 Multiplier of the Year Winners: Leadership Insights


This February, The Wiseman Group concluded the prestigious 2014 Multiplier of the Year Award.

Now, for the first time in the history of the award, we are proud to present Multiplier of the Year Leadership Insights, two leadership essays written by the winners of this year’s contest.

These two captivating and passionate expositions, written by Susan Brown and Judy Levinsohn, are guaranteed to resonate not only with successful leaders, but help to provide insight for anyone on their own leadership journey.

Susan Brown - 2014 Multiplier of the Year Business DSC_1553 - Version 2

(Left) Business Winner: Susan Goss Brown, VP of Stores, U.S., Banana Republic
(Right) Education Winner: Judy Levinsohn, Manager of the Institute for Leadership Development, OC Department of Education

Susan Goss Brown, VP of Stores, U.S., Banana Republic

“Fundamentally I believe leaders are chosen… not appointed. Yes, there are many people in leadership roles that have earned their way to the top because of great results, experience, a successful project or simply being in the right place at the right time. And yet, they fail at leadership. The great leaders of our time were chosen by the people who followed them. Chosen for their compassion, their selflessness, their willingness to stand alone and their willingness to challenge others to be better. Great leaders appeal to both the intellect and the heart. They believe in the best in others and value all the characteristics that make individuals unique. They understand how to incorporate those differences into a team to create balance and high performance.

This has always been the leader I strive to be. Not because it makes me “good”, or because I want to be recognized for leadership, but because it is a joy to help others find their greatness and reach their potential. I love nothing more than to see a leader gain confidence in their capability. To watch them begin to contribute at a level never before. To see them flourish as a result of conversations and challenges that helped them tap into their own brilliance. This is the real benefit of being a leader and what continues to inspire me.

As the composition of the workforce evolves, and we are confronted with the complexity of leading multiple generations, understanding how to create optimal working conditions will be important. I’d like to foster an environment that supports and encourages the team to operate interdependently with shared authority. A team that is willing to work collaboratively to identify and solve business opportunities. A team that is accountable for collective results and performance. And having high performance standards is a must. Everyone enjoys winning. Winning at something that was difficult to achieve feels better than winning by default or because the task was easy. Stretching the team or individuals by assigning work that matters is critical. Affording them the opportunity to impact business by assigning tasks that come with business risks sends a strong message of how much I believe in their capability. I am happy to say, I have rarely been disappointed in these situations.

These are the reasons I lead. It’s a privilege – and one that I hope my team continues to afford me the opportunity to enjoy.”

Judy Levinsohn, Manager of the Institute for Leadership Development, OC Department of Education

“I have always had a love for education. As a little girl, I would come home from school and spend hours in our basement teaching my imaginary students. The wall-mounted chalkboard would capture my teaching, and my make-shift plan book would document student attendance and performance. With the bat of an eye, I moved from my basement classroom to a real teaching setting, having the opportunity to teach in New York, Virginia, and Maryland before moving to Southern California where my first school had a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. I had certainly come a long way!

My passion for learning (and ever-present desire to embrace new challenges) eventually took me from the classroom into administration. As I reflect on that amazing time in my career, I must acknowledge the talented educators who formed our team. They were considered the “stars” of our district – true trailblazers. Together we engaged in shared decision-making before the term was coined. We implemented school-wide strategies before the power of common assessment was truly explored. We embraced technology-imbedded instruction long before 21st century skills had been defined. Yet, even with all that talent, with all that passion, something was missing. While our successes were many, while our students consistently outscored those students at other sites, I do not believe we were not able to realize our full potential. Our shining stars were unable to form one constellation of leadership. I have often asked myself, “Why?”

My career has since taken me from the school site to non-profit work and ultimately, to my current position as Manager of the Institute for Leadership Development at our county office of education. While my professional experiences continue to shape my beliefs and actions, the most significant professional “aha” I have experienced took place when I attended a conference where Liz Wiseman was one of the keynote speakers. Her message immediately struck a chord: Most leaders have the best of intentions. They have the passion; they have the knowledge; they have a vision. Yet in their effort to accommodate the perceived needs of their colleagues, they are, in fact, accidental diminishers. I decided to take the multiplier assessment, just for fun.

I’m reminded of a saying a colleague once said – “the numbers don’t lie.” My score left no room for doubt: I was an accidental diminisher. After recovering from the shock, I realized how often, in my effort to make things easier for my teammates, I was unintentionally diminishing the opportunities to ponder the possibilities. I have come to realize that things have to be messy before they can be great. Like 21st century classrooms, we must establish an environment where ideas are encouraged, possibilities are explored, and mistakes are viewed as opportunities to learn. It is through collaborative risk taking that our greatest accomplishments will occur. Thank you, Liz, for re-defining my leadership and inspiring the multiplier within me!”

To view the past winners of the Multiplier of the Year Award, click here.

LDRLB Live Webinar: David Burkus and Liz Wiseman on Rookie Smarts


By David Burkus

Originally published February 10th, 2015 in LDRLB.

David Burkus is passionate about leadership, innovation, and strategy. He’s made it his purpose to facilitate the transfer of good ideas and focused on filling that gap between what science knows and what we most often do.

Burkus is the author of The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies Generate Great Ideas and writes regularly for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, PsychologyToday and 99U. He is also the founder and host of LDRLB (pronounced “leader lab”…long story), a podcast that shares insights on leadership, innovation, and strategy.

In this LDRLB live webinar, David Burkus and Liz Wiseman talk about “How Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work.”

To listen to more episodes of the LDRLB Podcast, click here. To learn more about David Burkus, click here.

The Leadership Power That Comes From Inexperience


By First Round Review

Originally published February 9th, 2015 in Fast Company.

“In 1989, Liz Wiseman took her first job out of business school at a mid-size startup called Oracle. With no previous experience, she was recruited as a technical trainer, charged with teaching programming to all of the company’s new engineering recruits. She admits she barely knew what the company did, much less how to teach engineers. A year later, she was promoted to manage the training department and make CEO Larry Ellison’s vision for what he called “Oracle University” a reality. She was 24.

“I really didn’t know what I was doing. All I knew was that this was a grown-up job and I wasn’t quite grown up yet, but no one seemed to be bothered by that but me,” says Wiseman. It was scary then, but looking back, she sees clearly how being a rookie made her an ideal candidate for the blue-sky project. “My real value didn’t come from having fresh ideas. It was having no ideas at all. When you know nothing you’re forced to create something.”

Little did she know that she’d spend the next 17 years leading the University effort and Oracle’s global human resources. Since then, Wiseman has written three books about what makes people effective as employees and leaders, and has conducted extensive research on how management can maximize performance inside organizations. Now president of the Wiseman Group, training executives around the world, she recently spoke at Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Corner and shared her findings about the advantages of the rookie mindset, how knowing too much can be dangerous for innovation, and what leaders can do to help everyone around them achieve their potential…”

To read the rest of this article in it’s entirety, please visit www.FastCompany.com.


TEDx Talk Featuring Liz Wiseman: Living and Working With Child-Like Wonder

TEDx Logo_350

February 4th, 2015

This week, TEDx University of Nevada published Liz Wiseman’s TED Talk: “Living and Working With Child-Like Wonder.” This inspirational video showcases Liz Wiseman as she shares her personal story of re-discovery. 

Has the world become too familiar to you? Do you feel stuck? How does what we know get in the way of what we don’t know? 

It’s difficult to let go of what we know and embrace the unknown. Let Liz Wiseman help you recapture that “Child-Like Wonder” in your job, by focusing on climbing new learning curves instead of only climbing up the career ladder.

You will never look at Koi Fish in the same way again!

101 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference


Kevin Kruse (NY Times Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker) and Inc.com have released the article “101 Great Speakers for Your Next Conference.” The Wiseman Group is honored to have Liz Wiseman appear on this distinguished list.

The following article was originally published by Jeff Haden December 19th, 2014 on Inc.com.

“I do a number of speaking events every year, and people often ask me to recommend great speakers. (Hopefully that’s not because they were less than thrilled by myperformance.)
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen as many people speak as I would like, so my list of suggested speakers is fairly short.

Fortunately, Kevin Kruse has seen a ton of speakers. A keynote speaker in his own right, and best-selling author of books on employee engagement and wholehearted leadership, he’s compiled a list of his favorite leadership speakers and trainers; most Kruse has seen in person, and he’s also hired a number of them to speak at his own events.(And he’s also a humble guy; while he left himself off, he definitely belongs on any list of great business speakers.)

Check out some of the following people the next time you need a great speaker. And if you’re deciding whether to attend a particular event and one of them is on the program, drop everything and go. You’ll be glad you did.”

To view Kruse’s list please click here, or to read the article in it’s entirety visit www.inc.com.

The Agile Team: Why Learning Beats Knowing


By: Connie Blaszczyk, Managing Editor, Monster Resource Center
This article was originally posted on Monster.com and published October, 2014.

In her latest book, author and researcher Liz Wiseman presents a solid case for why, in today’s fast-changing workplace, not knowing can be more valuable than knowing.

The book’s title echoes this message: Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work. In it, Wiseman presents a case for hiring rookies — be they young or mature professionals — who embody Steve Job’s now famous commencement advice to “stay hungry; stay foolish.”

The key to creating an agile and successful team, says Wiseman, is to keep people on a learning curve, rather than a straight line. The result is a renewed, relevant and engaged workforce.
In this Monster interview, Wiseman relays how today’s top companies are doing just that.

Monster: Your book, Rookie Smarts, advocates for hiring rookies. Are you saying Millennials make the best hires?

Wiseman: No, I’m suggesting that people without experience in a particular task often make the best hires. Sometimes these people are Millennials, young and new to the workforce, but it can also be a mature professional who is pivoting from their current expertise and doing something new. We find that people are often at their very best when they are in rookie mode — doing something important and hard for the first time.

Monster: What qualities demonstrate learning agility?

Wiseman: In my research I found that the “perpetual rookies” (those with years of experience and success who retained their rookie mindset) had a number of traits in common. They were:
1) Intellectually curious
2) Humble or, perhaps better said, teachable
3) Playful
4) Deliberate
If I were hiring someone for learning agility, I would look this duality: someone with a child-like approach to their work (curious, humble, playful) but who can also be their own adult supervision.

Monster: Is learning agility crucial when recruiting for manager positions?

Wiseman: Absolutely. The best leaders are learners. They know when it is time to shift out of the mode of leadership and into a mode of learnership. Not only do they need to be able to do this for themselves, but their agility between these roles sets the tone for the entire organization’s ability to unlearn and relearn dynamically.

Click here to read the entire interview with Liz Wiseman on Monster.com.

You can also learn more about Rookie Smarts by visiting www.RookieSmarts.com.

11 Great Business Books to Read Right Now


By Jeff Haden
This article was originally posted on Inc.com and published October 31st, 2014.

Successful entrepreneurs and smart businesspeople follow a simple motto: always be learning.

There are many ways to go about it, but cracking open an insightful read is never a bad idea. Here’s a selection of great books on innovation, entrepreneurship, success, happiness, and even what makes different people tick. They may not all appear to be “business” books… but never forget that inspiration comes from many places.

Every entrepreneur is at some point a rookie, an upstart, an inexperienced person with a dream… and fortunately experience isn’t everything. In Rookie Smarts, Wiseman shows how rookies can outperform veterans, experience can cause us to ignore new ideas, and how sometimes the perfect person to hire is the person who doesn’t “know” everything.

To see the entire list of 11 Great Business Books to Read Right Now, please visit Inc.com.

You can also learn more about Rookie Smarts by visiting www.RookieSmarts.com.