Thinkers50 Awards

Every two years Thinkers50 ranks the world’s top management thinkers. In addition, several individual awards are given for distinguished achievement in global thought leadership.

The polls are now closed. 

Recent Articles by Liz Wiseman

The Joy of the Struggle

Liz Wiseman, Excerpt from Philosophy@Work

What are the hidden dangers of collectively hitting the “EASY” button? In seeking ease of use and the comforts of automation, might we be robbing ourselves of the joy that comes from struggle?

Is it possible that in the name of advancement and process, our lives have become too easy?  In his autobiography, the 19th century philosophy John Stuart Mill asks:

Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions, which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant; would this be a great joy and happiness to you?

Is the aim of human progress – for which men and women have struggled mightily – to  alleviate struggle?  Or is well-being, and the very notion of progress, fundamentally dependent on continued struggle?

Creating Safety and Stretch

Liz Wiseman, Excerpt from Coaching@Work 

What ensues when a leader enables only one of these conditions?  When a boss continually challenges without first building a foundation of trust and respect, these challenges can produce debilitating anxiety rather than growth. 

It was years after my first book Multipliers was published that I was finally able to summarize the core message of the book, boiling roughly 66,000 words down to two.  These words capture the reason why some leaders bring out the best in others and get so much more from them: they create two simultaneous conditions: 1) Safety and 2) Stretch. 

The best leaders cultivate a climate that is both comfortable and intense.  They are able to remove fear and create the security that invites people to do their best thinking.  At the same time, they establish an intense environment that demands people’s best efforts.

The Space Between Intention and Action

Liz Wiseman, Excerpt from Work is Love Made Visible

Growing up with a perpetually pessimistic and overly prescriptive father trained me to see the gap between intention and action…those moments when our behavior falls short of our good intentions.

The French artist Paul Gauguin once said, “I shut my eyes in order to see.” My own life experiences have taught me how to see in the dark—to observe the invisible and to read the unwritten, unspoken words that reveal obscured truth. It’s a skill I acquired at a young age.

My father was a gruff man who was hard on the people around him. He was raised in a good family and worked with his father and brother in the family business. But, when a disagreement about how to run the business evolved into an impasse, my father not only left the business, he left his family, vowing to never speak with them again. Tragically, he never did.

A True Mentor

Blog Article by Liz Wiseman

CK Prahalad was a professor and renowned management guru twice ranked #1 on the Thinkers50. When he passed, the world lost one of its great thinkers and teachers, and an extraordinary Multiplier.

Have you ever had a true mentor? Someone amazing, who you held the deepest, most authentic respect for – who also poured him or herself into you and your professional journey? I had that once – a person whose ideas about the world, the workplace, and me who not only shaped me professionally, but who played a vital role in the creation of the book Multipliers. It was something that he said about me that sparked the question core to the Multipliers research of why some people become smarter, even brilliant, around a great manager. My mentor has since died, but I’d love to tell you more about him and how he affected me….

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