Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact
Note: 没找到中文简体翻译，台湾版翻译为《你是公司王牌嗎？: 原來關鍵時刻挺身而出、力挽狂瀾的人如此不一樣》
Why do some people break through and make an impact while others get stuck going through the motions?
Liz Wiseman，领导力专家，the wiseman group 的 CEO。
Note：本文是基于 Blinkist 的书摘来写的。
下面我们来聊聊如何成为 Impact Player。
Most professionals have what’s known as a Contributor Mindset. Unlike Impact Players, those with a Contributor Mindset are not called to duty when things get tough. Because, while a normal contributor may be committed to his task, as soon as a problem comes up he gets sidetracked, loses focus on the goal. Meanwhile, the Impact Player sees a challenge as an opportunity to be embraced.
The Impact Player approach is not just marginally different to other contributors, it is radically opposed.
The people who don’t just do the job they have, they also do the job that’s needed. They identify where they can help and they step up to take on the challenge.
The best employees don’t limit their focus to their own tasks. They also observe what’s happening around them to check if any other job needs doing. Once they identify where they can help, they jump in.
Impact Players don’t wait until they are given a task. They proactively identify problems to solve.
Impact Players in the workplace bring their A-game to everything they do. They raise the bar, and encourage a culture of growth and creativity.
To be of maximum value as a contributor, you, too, need to know what your leaders, customers and stakeholders value the most. Ask yourself, how well do you grasp the skills that are indispensable to your organization?
Identify your W.I.N. (What’s Important Now). This is something valued by your organization that’s also important to your immediate boss or stakeholder. Think about your organization’s business model, and compare it to your stakeholder’s top three priorities.
Once you’ve established your all-important W.I.N., look for places where your own capabilities overlap – so you can find an opportunity to contribute. Are there any problems that you can tackle with your unique skills? This step will help you form your agenda.
Make sure your boss or stakeholder knows about your agenda. Craft a short statement that captures how your work will help them achieve the priorities on their agenda. For example, you could say: “I’m aware that our top priority is customer retention, so I’m making profiles of our different customer segments to help us better understand their needs.”
It’s a good idea to begin your one-on-one meetings like this, so that everyone is on the same page. However you decide to communicate your agenda, be it a phone call, text message or email, make sure you send the clear message that you understand what is important to your stakeholders, without needing to be told.
Impact Players don’t wait for permission to influence. They show initiative and take responsibility. And when they lead, they do so collaboratively, so others want to play on their team.
People operating with a Contributor Mindset look to their leaders for direction. While loyal followers can be trusted to carry out requests, they uphold the status quo. When they spot problems, mere contributors might be concerned, sure, but unlike Impact Players, they don’t take charge unless it is already their job to lead.
To become an Impact Player, don’t wait to be appointed. Be on the lookout for everyday situations that lack clear leadership and fill the vacuum yourself.
You don’t even have to wait for a huge problem to come up. Listen for ambient problems, seemingly small, persistent problems that everyone complains about but does nothing about. Those perpetual inefficiencies that accumulate into a huge waste over time.
To have impact, you also have to finish strong.
The reason Impact Players are able to finish the job comes down to just two characteristics – resilience and grit. Resilience stems from their belief that a solution can be found, and that it will be discovered if they just work at it long enough. Grit is their impulse to hunker down and put in the work necessary to find it, even when additional problems pop up along the way.
Other contributors, by contrast, tend to escalate problems when they arise. They’ll alert the relevant department that something’s gone wrong, then sit back and wait for someone else to figure it out. Impact Players, on the other hand, will use their resiliesnce and grit to stick with a problem when it comes up, even if he needs to rally others to solve it.
They aren’t afraid to ask for input, rally help, and get feedback in the process.
Professionals usually need a reference to recognize where they may be off pitch. Unless you are extremely experienced, you won’t be able to analyze the subtle nuances in your own performance. But you can get better at it by asking for feedback, and making incremental adjustments in response.
Impact Players get mentored by leaders because they are seen as coachable. They seek out feedback, receive more guidance, and achieve better outcomes as a result. The process is what’s known as closing the feedback loop, and you can leverage it to your own benefit.
To launch the feedback loop, ask for guidance. For instance, you can ask your manager, boss or stakeholder: Am I going in the right direction? Where am I straying off course? What should I continue doing, and what should I let go of? According to the feedback you receive, you can adjust your performance.
In the process, check back in with your mentors to let them know that you are valuing their guidance.
Wherever you start, closing the feedback loop can take you further.
While ordinary contributors may compound everyone’s workload, Impact Players actually reduce the burden on everyone else. Even in those cases where you may not be able to lighten the workload – you can do your best to make the process go more smoothly.
Whenever you communicate at work, summarize your thoughts – or a larger discussion – into clear bullet points. When you make yourself easy to understand, you’re also making yourself easy to work with.
Do this consistently, and you will develop a reputation as a high-performing, time-saving player that everyone wants on their team.
In order to multiply your impact on your environment, keep your eyes open and notice problems beyond your job that warrant attention. Without waiting for direction, identify where you can help and step up to do so. By embracing a mindset of leadership, grit and resilience, you can make a difference and inspire others to rally behind you, too.