Are you a Multiplier or a Diminisher?
This is the fundamental question posed by Liz Wiseman in her book, Multipliers. In the book she compares and contrasts leaders who are Multipliers versus those that are Diminishers. Liz is a best-selling author and one of the speakers accompanying John Maxwell at this year’s Live2Lead simulcast. After Liz spoke at John’s Leadership Exchange event, he called her one of the best leadership speakers he has showcased in the 14 years of hosting Exchange. That is high praise.
As Peter Drucker said, “The organizations that succeed will be those that put their employees in a position to be their best. Those that can multiply resourcefulness, intelligence and problem solving.”
Below are the five disciplines of Multipliers that Liz outlines in her book:
- Attract and optimize talent. Multipliers lead people by operating as talent magnets, whereby they attract and deploy talent to its fullest, regardless of who owns the resource. They nurture, invest, and develop them, helping them reach their full potential. In contrast, Diminishers operate as empire builders, insisting that they must own and control the resources.
Are you more the genius on your team or the genius maker? When are you at your best? Is it when you are working for someone who wants you to know they are smarter than you or when you work for someone who makes you feel smart? [bctt tweet=”Are you more the genius on your team or the genius maker? #multiplier #leadership “]
- Create intensity that requires best thinking. Multipliers operate as liberators who work to produce a climate that is intense, yet safe for risk taking. They remove fear while demanding a person’s best work. A Diminisher, on the other hand, introduces fear of judgment that has a chilling effect on people’s thinking and work.
Think about when you are at your best. Is it when you are confident and resourceful or when you are worried about making mistakes or being judged? Are you creating fear or building confidence in your people?[bctt tweet=”Are you creating fear or building confidence in your people? #multiplier #leadership”]
- Extend challenges. Multipliers operate as challengers by seeding opportunities, laying down challenges that stretch the organization, asking great questions, and generating the belief that it can be done. Diminishers operate as know-it-alls, personally giving directives to showcase their knowledge.
- Debate decisions. Multipliers operate as debate makers. They engage people in debating the issues up front, which leads to decisions that people understand, buy into, and can execute efficiently. In contrast, Diminishers tend to make decisions within a small inner circle but leave the organization in the dark as far as assessing the soundness of the decision. They expect the organization to execute a decision they were not a part of.
Most leaders agree that organizational change and innovation are hard. Leaders themselves don’t like change, unless of course it is their idea. Think about when you are least resistant to change that is not your idea. Is it when you are part of the decision or when the decision is handed down from above?
- Instill ownership and accountability. Multipliers deliver and sustain superior results through a culture of performance, high standards, and accountability. Over time, a Multiplier’s high expectations turn into an unrelenting presence, driving people to hold themselves and each other accountable, often to ever-higher standards and without the direct intervention of the Multiplier. Diminishers serve as micromanagers who drive results by holding onto ownership and jumping into the details. [bctt tweet=”Over time, a Multiplier’s high expectations turn into an unrelenting presence, driving people to hold themselves and each other accountable, often to ever-higher standards and without the direct intervention of the Multiplier.”]
Do your team members work hard to live up to your standards and expectations? How successful are you at leveraging the natural pressure amongst peers? Peer pressure is a valuable lever to a leader.
Please pick up a copy of Liz’s book Multipliers and plan to attend a Live 2 Lead conference near you to hear Liz speak. In the meantime, reflect on the questions above and check your leadership style. Make sure you are utilizing effective scoreboards and an effective meeting rhythm and cadence to help you become a Multiplier.