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Building Great Leaders with Liz Wiseman, CEO of The Wiseman Group

Episode 351
What is a good leader? Liz Wiseman shares her research and insight.

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“I think the best leaders and the best contributors are competent. They understand their own intelligence, their own capability and what they bring, they bring it fully. But perhaps, they are competent enough that they have gotten over themselves to the point where they understand their own genius but they see the genius of others.”  — Liz Wiseman

On this special episode of Mission Daily, Stephanie is joined by Liz Wiseman, CEO of The Wiseman Group and author of the New York Times bestselling book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. As CEO of the Wiseman Group, Liz has spent the last decade researching, writing, and teaching on the topic of leadership; what it looks like and how individuals and organizations can elevate leaders within their organization.

Liz’s career started out at Oracle and she rose to the role of VP of Oracle University. While in her role, she was given a lot of responsibility, room to experiment and learn but also room to fail. At the time, it was intimidating and she was uncertain of herself but she explains the importance of always being challenged in your career. 

“I actually believe that when we are good at our jobs, I think that we begin to secretly resent our jobs,” says Liz. “But actually we are at our happiest when we have a job that’s like a size too big. Now, I don’t recommend people go out and get a job that is two sizes too big. It’s like getting that fit right.” 

On this episode, Stephanie and Liz discuss her experience at Oracle and how it led to her work as an executive coach today, the difference between multipliers and diminishers within organizations, and how to stay ahead in your career in today’s fast-paced world.

Quotes from Liz:

“We are a leadership, research, and development firm so we care about our leadership, and our  mission is to rid the world of bad bosses. We are trying to create workplaces where people want to go to work, where they love their boss, where they feel productive and utilized and contributing at their fullest. We are really about developing the kind of leadership where people can contribute fully and where work is actually joyful.”

“The most profound contribution Silicon Valley has made to the workplace is really democratizing the workplace and really letting go of hierarchy and creating irreverence for leadership.”

“You don’t need experience to be able to contribute, in fact, sometimes we are at our best when we don’t.” 

“In the space of leadership, there is every platitude about how we should lead but I’m skeptical of those. So I dig and I look, ‘where are the answers really found? What are the active ingredients? What are the things that really do move the needle?’ versus ‘what is great for a slideshow on this?’”

“It really is my wish for everyone that they have a career full of jobs that they are a little bit — maybe a lot — unqualified for.”

“I believe that when we are good at our jobs, we begin to secretly resent our jobs. Actually we are at our happiest when we have a job that’s like a size too big. Now, I don’t recommend people go out and get a job that is two sizes too big. It’s like getting that fit right.” 

“The fundamental job of leadership is to ask the right questions. Let your team find the answers.”

“Another essential job of leaders is to size challenges right. To know how to size a challenge to an entire enterprise so that its hard enough that people have to leave the status quo, but just do-able enough so that you can score wins.”

“The idea of being a multiplier is that you use all of the intelligence that’s available to you, including your own. When you are so fixated on your own intelligence that the people around don’t get to be smart, people end up under contributing because of that.” 


Oracle University 

Susan St. Ledger

Marc Benioff 








Stanford Health 

Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work 

The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools 

A Winter’s Tale 

Wunderlich Park

Portola Valley 

Tina Fey 

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Shawshank Redemption

Bill Campbell

Trillion Dollar Coach

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